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Title: Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books
Author: Eden, Horatia K. F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books" ***

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                 [Illustration: Juliana Horatia Ewing]

                         JULIANA HORATIA EWING

                            AND HER BOOKS.


                           HORATIA K.F. EDEN
                            (_née_ GATTY).

                    43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.
                     BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET.
                    NEW YORK: E. & J.B. YOUNG & CO.

 [Published under the direction of the General Literature Committee.]


In making a Selection from Mrs. Ewing's Letters to accompany her
Memoir, I have chosen such passages as touch most closely on her Life
and Books. I found it was not possible in all cases to give references
in footnotes between the Memoir and Letters; but as both are arranged
chronologically there will be no difficulty in turning from one to the
other when desirable.

The first Letter, relating Julie's method of teaching a Liturgical
Class, should be read with the remembrance that it was written
thirty-two years ago, long before the development of our present
Educational System; but it is valuable for the zeal and energy it
records, combined with the common incident of the writer being too ill
to appear at the critical moment of the Inspector's visit.

In a later letter, dated May 28, 1866, there are certain remarks about
class singing in schools, which are also out of date; but this is
retained as a proof of the keen sense of musical rhythm and accent
which my sister had, and which gave her power to write words for music
although she could play no instrument.

It is needless to add that none of the letters were intended for
publication; they were written to near relatives and friends _currente
calamo_, and are full of familiar expressions and allusions which may
seem trivial and uninteresting to ordinary readers. Those, however,
who care to study my sister's character I think cannot fail to trace
in these records some of its strongest features; her keen enjoyment of
the beauties of Nature,--her love for animals,--for her Home,--her
_lares_ and _penates_;--and her Friends. Above all that love of
GOD which was the guiding influence of everything she wrote
or did. So inseparable was it from her every-day life that readers
must not be surprised if they find grave and gay sentences following
each other in close succession.

Julie's sense of humour never forsook her, but she was never
malicious, and could turn the laugh against herself as readily as
against others. I have ventured to insert a specimen of her fun, which
I hope will not be misunderstood. In a letter to C.T.G., dated March
13, 1874, she gave him a most graphic picture of the erratic condition
of mind that had come over an old friend, the result of heavy
responsibilities and the rush of London life. Julie had no idea when
she wrote that these symptoms were in reality the subtle beginnings of
a breakdown, which ended fatally, and no one lamented the issue more
truly than she; but she could not resist catching folly as it flew,
and many of the flighty axioms became proverbial amongst us.

The insertion of Bishop Medley's reply to my sister, April 8, 1880,
needs no apology, it is so interesting in itself, and gives such a
charming insight into the friendship between them.

The _List of Mrs. Ewing's Works_ at the end of the Memoir was made
before the publication of the present Complete Edition; this,
therefore, is only mentioned in cases where stories have not been
published in any other book form. All Mrs. Ewing's Verses for
Children, Hymns, and Songs for Music (including two left in MS.) are
included in Volume IX.

Volume XVII., "Miscellanea," contains _The Mystery of a bloody hand_
together with the Translated Stories, and other papers that had
appeared previously in Magazines.

In Volume XII., "Brothers of Pity and other tales of men and beasts,"
will be found _Among the Merrows_; _A Week spent in a Glass Pond_;
_Tiny's Tricks and Toby's Tricks_; _The Owl in the Ivy Bush, and
Owlhoots I. II._, whilst _Sunflowers and a Rushlight_ has been put
amongst the Flower Stories in Vol. XVI., _Mary's Meadow_, etc.

The Letter with which this volume concludes was one of the last that
Julie wrote, and its allusion to Gordon's translation seemed to make
it suitable for the End.

After her death the readers of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ subscribed
enough to complete the endowment (£1000) of a Cot at the Convalescent
Home of the Hospital for Sick Children, _Cromwell House, Highgate_.
This had been begun to our Mother's memory, and was completed in the
joint names of _Margaret Gatty_ and _Juliana Horatia Ewing_. So
liberal were the subscriptions that there was a surplus of more than
£200, and with this we endowed two £5 annuities in the _Cambridge Fund
for Old Soldiers_--as the "Jackanapes," and "Leonard" annuities.

Of other memorials there are the marble gravestone in Trull
Churchyard, and Tablet in Ecclesfield Church, both carved by Harry
Hems, of Exeter, and similarly decorated with the double lilac
primrose,--St. Juliana's flower.

In Ecclesfield Church there is also a beautiful stained window, given
by her friend, Bernard Wake. The glass was executed by W.F. Dixon, and
the subject is Christ's Ascension. Julie died on the Eve of Ascension

Lastly, there is a small window of jewelled glass, by C.E. Kempe, in
St. George's Church, South Camp, Aldershot, representing St. Patrick
trampling on a three-headed serpent, emblematical of the powers of
evil, and holding the Trefoil in his hand--a symbol of the Blessed


_Rugby_, 1896.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The frontispiece portrait of Mrs. Ewing is a photogravure produced by
the Swan Electric Engraving Company, from a photograph taken by Mr.
Fergus of Largs_.

_All the other illustrations are from Mrs. Ewing's own drawings,
except the tail-piece on p. 136. This graceful ideal of Mrs. Ewing's
grave was an offering sent by Mr. Caldecott shortly after her death,
with his final illustrations to "Lob Lie-by-the-Fire."_

    All hearts grew warmer in the presence
      Of one who, seeking not his own,
    Gave freely for the love of giving,
      Nor reaped for self the harvest sown.

    Thy greeting smile was pledge and prelude
      Of generous deeds and kindly words:
    In thy large heart were fair guest-chambers,
      Open to sunrise and the birds!

    The task was thine to mould and fashion
      Life's plastic newness into grace;
    To make the boyish heart heroic,
      And light with thought the maiden's face.

        *       *       *       *       *

    O friend! if thought and sense avail not
      To know thee henceforth as thou art,
    That all is well with thee forever,
      I trust the instincts of my heart.

    Thine be the quiet habitations,
      Thine the green pastures, blossom sown,
    And smiles of saintly recognition,
      As sweet and tender as thy own.

    Thou com'st not from the hush and shadow
      To meet us, but to thee we come;
    With thee we never can be strangers,
      And where thou art must still be home.

        "_A Memorial_."--JOHN G. WHITTIER.



                              In Memoriam

                           JULIANA HORATIA,

                        AND MARGARET, HIS WIFE,
               MARRIED JUNE 1, 1867, TO ALEXANDER EWING,
                            MAJOR, A.P.D.,
                      DIED AT BATH, MAY 13, 1885,
               BURIED AT TRULL, SOMERSET, MAY 16, 1885.

I have promised the children to write something for them about their
favourite story-teller, Juliana Horatia Ewing, because I am sure they
will like to read it.

I well remember how eagerly I devoured the Life of my favourite
author, Hans Christian Andersen; how anxious I was to send a
subscription to the memorial statue of him, which was placed in the
centre of the public Garden at Copenhagen, where children yet play at
his feet; and, still further, to send some flowers to his newly-filled
grave by the hand of one who, more fortunate than myself, had the
chance of visiting the spot.

I think that the point which children will be most anxious to know
about Mrs. Ewing is how she wrote her stories. Did she evolve the
plots and characters entirely out of her own mind, or were they in any
way suggested by the occurrences and people around her?

The best plan of answering such questions will be for me to give a
list of her stories in succession as they were written, and to tell,
as far as I can, what gave rise to them in my sister's mind; in doing
this we shall find that an outline biography of her will naturally
follow. Nearly all her writings first appeared in the pages of _Aunt
Judy's Magazine_, and as we realize this fact we shall see how close
her connection with it was, and cease to wonder that the Magazine
should end after her death.

Those who lived with my sister have no difficulty in tracing
likenesses between some of the characters in her books, and many whom
she met in real life; but let me say, once for all, that she never
drew "portraits" of people, and even if some of us now and then caught
glimpses of ourselves under the clothing she had robed us in, we only
felt ashamed to think how unlike we really were to the glorified
beings whom she put before the public.

Still less did she ever do with her pen, what an artistic family of
children used to threaten to do with their pencils when they were
vexed with each other, namely, to "draw you ugly."

It was one of the strongest features in my sister's character that she
"received but what she gave," and threw such a halo of sympathy and
trust round all with whom she came in contact, that she seemed to see
them "with larger other eyes than ours," and treated them accordingly.
On the whole, I am sure this was good in its results, though the pain
occasionally of awakening to disappointment was acute; but she
generally contrived to cover up the wound with some new shoot of Hope.
On those in whom she trusted I think her faith acted favourably. I
recollect one friend whose conscience did not allow him to rest quite
easy under the rosy light through which he felt he was viewed, saying
to her: "It's the trust that such women as you repose in us men, which
makes us desire to become more like what you believe us to be."

If her universal sympathy sometimes led her to what we might hastily
consider "waste her time" on the petty interests and troubles of
people who appeared to us unworthy, what were we that we should blame
her? The value of each soul is equal in God's sight; and when the
books are opened there may be more entries than we now can count of
hearts comforted, self-respect restored, and souls raised by her help
to fresh love and trust in God,--ay, even of old sins and deeds of
shame turned into rungs on the ladder to heaven by feet that have
learned to tread the evil beneath them. It was this well-spring of
sympathy in her which made my sister rejoice as she did in the
teaching of the now Chaplain-General, Dr. J.C. Edghill, when he was
yet attached to the iron church in the South Camp, Aldershot. "He
preaches the gospel of Hope," she said--hope that is in the latent
power which lies hidden even in the worst of us, ready to take fire
when touched by the Divine flame, and burn up its old evil into a
light that will shine to God's glory before men. I still possess the
epitome of one of these "hopeful" sermons, which she sent me in a
letter after hearing the chaplain preach on the two texts: "What
meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God"; "Awake, thou that
sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

It has been said that, in his story of "The Old Bachelor's Nightcap,"
Hans Andersen recorded something of his own career. I know not if this
be true, but certainly in her story of "Madam Liberality"[1] Mrs.
Ewing drew a picture of her own character that can never be surpassed.
She did this quite unintentionally, I know, and believed that she was
only giving her own experiences of suffering under quinsy, in
combination with some record of the virtues of One whose powers of
courage, uprightness, and generosity under ill-health she had always
regarded with deep admiration. Possibly the virtues were
hereditary,--certainly the original owner of them was a relation; but,
however this may be, Madam Liberality bears a wonderfully strong
likeness to my sister, and she used to be called by a great friend of
ours the "little body with a mighty heart," from the quotation which
appears at the head of the tale.

[Footnote 1: Reprinted in "A Great Emergency and other Tales."]

The same friend is now a bishop in another hemisphere from ours, but
he will ever be reckoned a "great" friend. Our bonds of friendship
were tied during hours of sorrow in the house of mourning, and such as
these are not broken by after-divisions of space and time. Mrs. Ewing
named him "Jachin," from one of the pillars of the Temple, on account
of his being a pillar of strength at that time to us. Let me now quote
the opening description of Madam Liberality from the story:--

     It was not her real name; it was given to her by her brothers and
     sisters. People with very marked qualities of character do
     sometimes get such distinctive titles to rectify the indefiniteness
     of those they inherit and those they receive in baptism. The
     ruling peculiarity of a character is apt to show itself early in
     life, and it showed itself in Madam Liberality when she was a
     little child.

     Plum-cakes were not plentiful in her home when Madam Liberality was
     young, and, such as there were, were of the "wholesome"
     kind--plenty of breadstuff, and the currants and raisins at a
     respectful distance from each other. But, few as the plums were,
     she seldom ate them. She picked them out very carefully, and put
     them into a box, which was hidden under her pinafore.

     When we grown-up people were children, and plum-cake and
     plum-pudding tasted very much nicer than they do now, we also
     picked out the plums. Some of us ate them at once, and had then to
     toil slowly through the cake or pudding, and some valiantly
     dispatched the plainer portion of the feast at the beginning, and
     kept the plums to sweeten the end. Sooner or later we ate them
     ourselves, but Madam Liberality kept her plums for other people.

     When the vulgar meal was over--that commonplace refreshment
     ordained and superintended by the elders of the household--Madame
     Liberality would withdraw into a corner, from which she issued
     notes of invitation to all the dolls. They were "fancy written" on
     curl-papers, and folded into cocked hats.

     Then began the real feast. The dolls came and the children with
     them. Madam Liberality had no toy tea-sets or dinner-sets, but
     there were acorn-cups filled to the brim, and the water tasted
     deliciously, though it came out of the ewer in the night-nursery,
     and had not even been filtered. And before every doll was a flat
     oyster-shell covered with a round oyster-shell, a complete set of
     complete pairs which had been collected by degrees, like old family
     plate. And, when the upper shell was raised, on every dish lay a
     plum. It was then that Madam Liberality got her sweetness out of
     the cake. She was in her glory at the head of the inverted
     tea-chest, and if the raisins would not go round the empty
     oyster-shell was hers, and nothing offended her more than to have
     this noticed. That was her spirit, then and always. She could "do
     without" anything, if the wherewithal to be hospitable was left to

     When one's brain is no stronger than mine is, one gets very much
     confused in disentangling motives and nice points of character. I
     have doubted whether Madam Liberality's besetting virtue were a
     virtue at all. Was it unselfishness or love of approbation,
     benevolence or fussiness, the gift of sympathy or the lust of
     power, or was it something else? She was a very sickly child, with
     much pain to bear, and many pleasures to forego. Was it, as the
     doctors say, "an effort of nature" to make her live outside
     herself, and be happy in the happiness of others?

All my earliest recollections of Julie (as I must call her) picture
her as at once the projector and manager of all our nursery doings.
Even if she tyrannized over us by always arranging things according to
her own fancy, we did not rebel, we relied so habitually and entirely
on her to originate every fresh plan and idea; and I am sure that in
our turn we often tyrannized over her by reproaching her when any of
what we called her "projukes" ended in "mulls," or when she paused for
what seemed to us a longer five minutes than usual in the middle of
some story she was telling, to think what the next incident should be!

It amazes me now to realize how unreasonable we were in our
impatience, and how her powers of invention ever kept pace with our
demands. These early stories were influenced to some extent by the
books that she then liked best to read--Grimm, Andersen, and
Bechstein's fairy tales; to the last writer I believe we owed her
story about a Wizard, which was one of our chief favourites. Not that
she copied Bechstein in any way, for we read his tales too, and would
not have submitted to anything approaching a recapitulation; but the
character of the little Wizard was one which fascinated her, and even
more so, perhaps, the quaint picture of him, which stood at the head
of the tale; and she wove round this skeleton idea a rambling romance
from her own fertile imagination.

I have specially alluded to the picture, because my sister's artistic
as well as literary powers were so strong that through all her life
the two ever ran side by side, each aiding and developing the other,
so that it is difficult to speak of them apart.[2]

[Footnote 2: Letter, May 14, 1876.]

Many of the stories she told us in childhood were inspired by some fine
woodcuts in a German "A B C book," that we could none of us then read, and
in later years some of her best efforts were suggested by illustrations,
and written to fit them. I know, too, that in arranging the plots and
wording of her stories she followed the rules that are pursued by artists
in composing their pictures. She found great difficulty in preventing
herself from "overcrowding her canvas" with minor characters, owing to her
tendency to throw herself into complete sympathy with whatever creature she
touched; and, sometimes,--particularly in tales which came out as serials,
when she wrote from month to month, and had no opportunity of correcting
the composition as a _whole_,--she was apt to give undue prominence to
minor details, and throw her high lights on to obscure corners, instead of
concentrating them on the central point. These artistic rules kept her
humour and pathos,--like light and shade,--duly balanced, and made the
lights she "left out" some of the most striking points of her work.

[Illustration: POST MILL, DENNINGTON.]

But to go back to the stories she told us as children. Another of our
favourite ones related to a Cavalier who hid in an underground passage
connected with a deserted Windmill on a lonely moor. It is needless to
say that, as we were brought up on Marryat's _Children of the New
Forest_, and possessed an aunt who always went into mourning for King
Charles on January 30, our sympathies were entirely devoted to the
Stuarts' cause; and this persecuted Cavalier, with his big hat and
boots, long hair and sorrows, was our best beloved hero. We would
always let Julie tell us the "Windmill Story" over again, when her
imagination was at a loss for a new one. Windmills, I suppose from
their picturesqueness, had a very strong attraction for her. There
were none near our Yorkshire home, so, perhaps, their rarity added to
their value in her eyes; certain it is that she was never tired of
sketching them, and one of her latest note-books is full of the old
mill at Frimley, Hants, taken under various aspects of sunset and
storm. Then Holland, with its low horizons and rows of windmills, was
the first foreign land she chose to visit, and the "Dutch Story," one
of her earliest written efforts, remains an unfinished fragment;
whilst "Jan of the Windmill" owes much of its existence to her early
love for these quaint structures.

It was not only in the matter of fairy tales that Julie reigned
supreme in the nursery, she presided equally over our games and
amusements. In matters such as garden-plots, when she and our eldest
sister could each have one of the same size, they did so; but, when it
came to there being _one_ bower, devised under the bending branches of
a lilac bush, then the laws of seniority were disregarded, and it was
"Julie's Bower." Here, on benches made of narrow boards laid on
inverted flower-pots, we sat and listened to her stories; here was
kept the discarded dinner-bell, used at the funerals of our pet
animals, and which she introduced into "The Burial of the Linnet."[3]
Near the Bower we had a chapel, dedicated to St. Christopher, and a
sketch of it is still extant, which was drawn by our eldest sister,
who was the chief builder and caretaker of the shrine; hence started
the funeral processions, both of our pets and of the stray birds and
beasts we found unburied. In "Brothers of Pity"[4] Julie gave her hero
the same predilection for burying that we had indulged in.

[Footnote 3: "Verses for Children, and Songs for Music."]

[Footnote 4: "Brothers of Pity, and other Tales of Beasts and Men."]

She invented names for the spots that we most frequented in our walks,
such as "The Mermaid's Ford," and "St. Nicholas." The latter covered a
space including several fields and a clear stream, and over this
locality she certainly reigned supreme; our gathering of violets and
cowslips, or of hips and haws for jam, and our digging of earth-nuts
were limited by her orders. I do not think she ever attempted to
exercise her prerogative over the stream; I am sure that, whenever we
caught sight of a dark tuft of slimy _Batrachospermum_ in its clear
depths, we plunged in to secure it for Mother, whether Julie or any
other Naiad liked it or no! But "the splendour in the grass and glory
in the flower" that we found in "St. Nicholas" was very deep and real,
thanks to all she wove around the spot for us. Even in childhood she
must have felt, and imparted to us, a great deal of what she put into
the hearts of the children in "Our Field."[5] To me this story is one
of the most beautiful of her compositions, and deeply characteristic
of the strong power she possessed of drawing happiness from little
things, in spite of the hindrances caused by weak health. Her fountain
of hope and thankfulness never ran dry.

[Footnote 5: "A Great Emergency, and other Tales."]

     Madam Liberality was accustomed to disappointment.

     From her earliest years it had been a family joke, that poor Madam
     Liberality was always in ill-luck's way.

     It is true that she was constantly planning; and, if one builds
     castles, one must expect a few loose stones about one's ears now
     and then. But, besides this, her little hopes were constantly being
     frustrated by Fate.

     If the pigs or the hens got into the garden, Madam Liberality's bed
     was sure to be laid waste before any one came to the rescue. When
     a picnic or a tea-party was in store, if Madam Liberality did not
     catch cold, so as to hinder her from going, she was pretty sure to
     have a quinsy from fatigue or wet feet afterwards. When she had a
     treat, she paid for the pleasurable excitement by a head-ache, just
     as when she ate sweet things they gave her toothache.

     But, if her luck was less than other people's, her courage and good
     spirits were more than common. She could think with pleasure about
     the treat when she had forgotten the head-ache.

     One side of her face would look fairly cheerful when the other was
     obliterated by a flannel bag of hot camomile flowers, and the whole
     was redolent of every possible domestic remedy for toothache, from
     oil of cloves and creosote to a baked onion in the ear. No
     sufferings abated her energy for fresh exploits, or quenched the
     hope that cold, and damp, and fatigue would not hurt her "this

     In the intervals of wringing out hot flannels for her quinsy she
     would amuse herself by devising a desert island expedition, on a
     larger and possibly a damper scale than hitherto, against the time
     when she should be out again.

     It is a very old simile, but Madam Liberality really was like a
     cork rising on the top of the very wave of ill-luck that had
     swallowed up her hopes.

     Her little white face and undaunted spirit bobbed up after each
     mischance or malady as ready and hopeful as ever.

Some of the indoor amusements over which Julie exercised great
influence were our theatricals. Her powers of imitation were strong;
indeed, my mother's story of "Joachim the Mimic" was written, when
Julie was very young, rather to check this habit which had early
developed in her. She always took what may be called the "walking
gentleman's" part in our plays. Miss Corner's Series came first, and
then Julie was usually a Prince; but after we advanced to farces, her
most successful character was that of the commercial traveller,
Charley Beeswing, in "Twenty Minutes with a Tiger." "Character" parts
were what she liked best to take, and in later years, when aiding in
private theatricals at Aldershot Camp, the piece she most enjoyed was
"Helping Hands," in which she acted Tilda, with Captain F.G. Slade,
R.A., as Shockey, and Major Ewing as the blind musician.

The last time she acted was at Shoeburyness, where she was the guest
of her friends Colonel and Mrs. Strangways, and when Captain
Goold-Adams and his wife also took part in the entertainment. The
terrible news of Colonel Strangways' and Captain Goold-Adams' deaths
from the explosion at Shoebury in February 1885, reached her whilst
she was very ill, and shocked her greatly; though she often alluded to
the help she got from thinking of Colonel Strangways' unselfishness,
courage, and submission during his last hours, and trying to bear her
own sufferings in the same spirit. She was so much pleased with the
description given of his grave being lined with moss and lilac
crocuses, that when her own had to be dug it was lined in a similar

But now let us go back to her in the Nursery, and recall how, in spite of
very limited pocket-money, she was always the presiding Genius over
birthday and Christmas-tree gifts; and the true 'St. Nicholas' who filled
the stockings that the "little ones" tied, in happy confidence, to their
bed-posts. Here the description must be quoted of Madam Liberality's
struggles between generosity and conscientiousness;--

     It may seem strange that Madam Liberality should ever have been
     accused of meanness, and yet her eldest brother did once shake his
     head at her and say, "You're the most meanest and the _generousest_
     person I ever knew!" And Madam Liberality wept over the accusation,
     although her brother was then too young to form either his words or
     his opinions correctly.

     But it was the touch of truth in it which made Madam Liberality
     cry. To the end of their lives Tom and she were alike, and yet
     different in this matter. Madam Liberality saved, and pinched, and
     planned, and then gave away, and Tom gave away without the pinching
     and the saving. This sounds much handsomer, and it was poor Tom's
     misfortune that he always believed it to be so; though he gave away
     what did not belong to him, and fell back for the supply of his own
     pretty numerous wants upon other people, not forgetting Madam
     Liberality. Painful experience convinced Madam Liberality in the
     end that his way was a wrong one, but she had her doubts many times
     in her life whether there were not something unhandsome in her own
     decided talent for economy. Not that economy was always pleasant to
     her. When people are very poor for their position in life, they can
     only keep out of debt by stinting on many occasions when stinting
     is very painful to a liberal spirit. And it requires a sterner
     virtue than good nature to hold fast the truth that it is nobler to
     be shabby and honest than to do things handsomely in debt.

     But long before Tom had a bill even for bull's-eyes and Gibraltar
     rock, Madam Liberality was pinching and plotting, and saving bits
     of coloured paper and ends of ribbon, with a thriftiness which
     seemed to justify Tom's view of her character. The object of these
     savings was twofold,--birthday presents and Christmas-boxes. They
     were the chief cares and triumphs of Madam Liberality's childhood.
     It was with the next birthday or the approaching Christmas in view
     that she saved her pence instead of spending them, but she so
     seldom had any money that she chiefly relied on her own ingenuity.
     Year by year it became more difficult to make anything which would
     "do for a boy;" but it was easy to please Darling, and "Mother's"
     unabated appreciation of pin-cushions, and of needle-books made out
     of old cards, was most satisfactory.

Equally characteristic of Julie's moral courage and unselfishness is
the incident of how Madam Liberality suffered the doctor's assistant
to extract the tooth fang which had been accidentally left in her jaw,
because her mother's "fixed scale of reward was sixpence for a tooth
without fangs, and a shilling for one with them," and she wanted the
larger sum to spend on Christmas-tree presents.

When the operation was over,

     Madam Liberality staggered home, very giddy, but very happy.
     Moralists say a great deal about pain treading so closely on the
     heels of pleasure in this life, but they are not always wise or
     grateful enough to speak of the pleasure which springs out of pain.
     And yet there is a bliss which comes just when pain has ceased,
     whose rapture rivals even the high happiness of unbroken health;
     and there is a keen pleasure about small pleasures hardly earned,
     in which the full measure of those who can afford anything they
     want is sometimes lacking. Relief is certainly one of the most
     delicious sensations which poor humanity can enjoy!

The details which can be traced in Julie's letters after undergoing
the removal of her tonsils read very much like extracts from Madam
Liberality's biography. During my sister's last illness she spoke
about this episode, and said she looked back with surprise at the
courage she had exercised in going to London alone, and staying with
friends for the operation. Happily, like Madam Liberality, she too
earned a reward in the relief which she appreciated so keenly; for,
after this event, quinsies became things of the past to her, and she
had them no more.

On April 14, 1863, she wrote--

     "MY DEAREST MOTHER,--I could knock my head off when I
     think that _I_ am to blame for not being able to send you word
     yesterday of the happy conclusion of this affair!! * * I cannot
     apologize enough, but assure you I punished myself by two days'
     suspense (a letter had been misdirected to the surgeon which
     delayed his visit). I did intend to have asked if I might have
     spent a trifle with the flower-man who comes to the door here, and
     bring home a little adornment to my flower-box as a sugar-plum
     after my operation * * now I feel I do not deserve it, but perhaps
     you will be merciful!

     "It was a tiresome operation--so choking! He (Mr. Smith, the
     surgeon) was about an hour at it. He was more kind and considerate
     than can be expressed; when he went I said to him, 'I am very much
     obliged to you, first for telling me the truth, and secondly for
     waiting for me.' For when I got 'down in the mouth,' he waited, and
     chatted till I screwed up my courage again. He said, 'When people
     are reasonable it is barbarous to hurry them, and I said you were
     that when I first saw you.'"

     April 16, 1863. "Thank you so much for letting me bring home a
     flower or two! I do love them so much."

As Julie emerged from the nursery and began to take an interest in our
village neighbours, her taste for "projects" was devoted to their
interests. It was her energy that established a Village Library in
1859, which still remains a flourishing institution; but all her
attempts were not crowned with equal success. She often recalled, with
great amusement, how, the first day on which she distributed tracts as
a District Visitor, an old lady of limited ideas and crabbed
disposition called in the evening to restore the tract which had been
lent to her, remarking that she had brought it back and required no
more, as--"My 'usband does _not_ attend the public-'ouse, and we've no
unrewly children!"

My sister gave a series of Lessons[6] on the Liturgy in the
day-school, and on Sunday held a Class for Young Women at the
Vicarage, because she was so often prevented by attacks of quinsy from
going out to school; indeed, at this time, as the mother of some of
her ex-pupils only lately remarked, "Miss Julie were always cayling."

[Footnote 6: Letter, August 19, 1864.]


The first stories that she published belong to this so-to-speak
"parochial" phase of her life, when her interests were chiefly divided
between the nursery and the village. "A Bit of Green" came out in the
_Monthly Packet_ in July 1861; "The Blackbird's Nest" in August
1861; "Melchior's Dream" in December 1861; and these three tales, with
two others, which had not been previously published ("Friedrich's
Ballad" and "The Viscount's Friend"), were issued in a volume called
"Melchior's Dream and other Tales," in 1862. The proceeds of the first
edition of this book gave "Madam Liberality" the opportunity of
indulging in her favourite virtue. She and her eldest sister, who
illustrated the stories, first devoted the "tenths" of their
respective earnings for letterpress and pictures to buying some
hangings for the sacrarium of Ecclesfield Church, and then Julie
treated two of her sisters, who were out of health, to Whitby for
change of air. Three years later, out of some other literary earnings,
she took her eldest brother to Antwerp and Holland, to see the city of
Rubens' pictures, and the land of canals, windmills, and fine
sunsets.[7] The expedition had to be conducted on principles which
savoured more of strict integrity and economy than of comfort; for
they went in a small steamer from Hull to Antwerp, but Julie feasted
her eyes and brain on all the fresh sights and sounds she encountered,
and filled her sketch-book with pictures.

[Footnote 7: Letters, September 1865.]

[Illustration: IN OWNING A GOOD TURN]

"It was at Rotterdam," wrote her brother, "that I left her with her
camp-stool and water-colours for a moment in the street, to find
her, on my return, with a huge crowd round her, and before--a baker's
man holding back a blue veil that would blow before her eyes--and she
sketching down an avenue of spectators, to whom she kept motioning
with her brush to stand aside. Perfectly unconscious she was of _how_
she looked, and I had great difficulty in getting her to pack up and
move on. Every quaint Dutch boat, every queer street, every peasant in
gold ornaments, was a treasure to her note-book. We were very happy!"

I doubt, indeed, whether her companion has experienced greater
enjoyment during any of his later and more luxurious visits to the
same spots; the _first_ sight of a foreign country must remain a
unique sensation.

It was not the intrinsic value of Julie's gifts to us that made them
so precious, but the wide-hearted spirit which always prompted them.
Out of a moderate income she could only afford to be generous from her
constant habit of thinking first for others, and denying herself. It
made little difference whether the gift was elevenpence
three-farthings' worth of modern Japanese pottery, which she seized
upon as just the right shape and colour to fit some niche on one of
our shelves, or a copy of the _edition de luxe_ of "Evangeline," with
Frank Dicksee's magnificent illustrations, which she ordered one day
to be included in the parcel of a sister, who had been judiciously
laying out a small sum on the purchase of cheap editions of standard
works, not daring to look into the tempting volume for fear of
coveting it. When the carrier brought home the unexpectedly large
parcel that night, it was difficult to say whether the receiver or the
giver was the happier.

My turn came once to be taken by Julie to the sea for rest (June
1874), and then one of the chief enjoyments lay in the unwonted luxury
of being allowed to choose my own route. Freedom of choice to a
wearied mind is quite as refreshing as ozone to an exhausted body.
Julie had none of the petty tyranny about her which often mars the
generosity of otherwise liberal souls, who insist on giving what they
wish rather than what the receiver wants.

I was told to take out Bradshaw's map, and go exactly where I desired,
and, oh! how we pored over the various railway lines, but finally
chose Dartmouth for a destination, as being old in itself, and new to
us, and really a "long way off." We were neither of us disappointed;
we lived on the quay, and watched the natives living in boats on the
harbour, as is their wont; and we drove about the Devon lanes, all
nodding with foxgloves, to see the churches with finely-carved screens
that abound in the neighbourhood, our driver being a more than
middle-aged woman, with shoes down at heel, and a hat on her head.
She was always attended by a black retriever, whom she called "Naro,"
and whom Julie sketched. I am afraid, as years went on, I became
unscrupulous about accepting her presents, on the score that she
"liked" to give them!--and I only tried to be, at any rate, a gracious

[Illustration: "THE LADY WILL DRIVE!"]

There was one person, however, whom Julie found less easy to deal
with, and that was an Aunt, whose liberality even exceeded her own.
When Greek met Greek over Christmas presents, then came the tug of war
indeed! The Aunt's ingenuity in contriving to give away whatever plums
were given to her was quite amazing, and she generally managed to
baffle the most careful restrictions which were laid upon her; but
Julie conquered at last, by yielding--as often happens in this life!

"It's no use," Julie said to me, as she got out her bit of cardboard
(not for a needle-book this time!)--"I must make her happy in her own
way. She wants me to make her a sketch for somebody else, and I've
promised to do it."

The sketch was made,--the last Julie ever drew,--but it remained
amongst the receiver's own treasures. She was so much delighted with
it, she could not make up her mind to give it away, and Julie laughed
many times with pleasure as she reflected on the unexpected success
that had crowned her final effort.

I spoke of "Melchior's Dream" and must revert to it again, for though
it was written when my sister was only nineteen, I do not think she
has surpassed it in any of her later _domestic_ tales. Some of the
writing in the introduction may be rougher and less finished than she
was capable of in after-years, but the originality, power, and pathos
of the Dream itself are beyond doubt. In it, too, she showed the
talent which gives the highest value to all her work--that of teaching
deep religious lessons without disgusting her readers by any approach
to cant or goody-goodyism.

During the years 1862 to 1868, we kept up a MS. magazine, and, of
course, Julie was our principal contributor. Many of her poems on
local events were genuinely witty, and her serial tales the backbone
of the periodical. The best of these was called "The Two Abbots: a
Tale of Second Sight," and in the course of it she introduced a hymn,
which was afterwards set to music by Major Ewing and published in
Boosey's Royal Edition of "Sacred Songs," under the title "From
Fleeting Pleasures."

The words of this hymn, and of two others which she wrote for the use
of our Sunday school children at Whitsuntide in the respective years
1864 and 1866 have all been published in vol. ix. of the present
Edition of her works.

Some years after she married, my sister again tried her hand at
hymn-writing. On July 22, 1879, she wrote to her husband:

"I think I will finish my hymn of 'Church of the Quick and Dead,' and
get thee to write a processional tune. The metre is (last verse)--

    'Church of the Quick and Dead,
      Lift up, lift up thy head,
    Behold the Judge is standing at the door!
      Bride of the Lamb, arise!
      From whose woe-wearied eyes
    My God shall wipe all tears for evermore.'"

My sister published very few of the things which she wrote to amuse us
in our MS. "Gunpowder Plot Magazine," for they chiefly referred to
local and family events; but "The Blue Bells on the Lea" was an
exception. The scene of this is a hill-side near our old home, and Mr.
Andre's fantastic and graceful illustrations to the verses when they
came out as a book, gave her full satisfaction and delight.

In June 1865 she contributed a short parochial tale, "The Yew Lane
Ghosts," to the _Monthly Packet_, and during the same year she gave a
somewhat sensational story, called "The Mystery of the Bloody
Hand,"[8] to _London Society_. Julie found no real satisfaction in
writing this kind of literature, and she soon discarded it; but her
first attempt showed some promise of the prolific power of her
imagination, for Mr. Shirley Brooks, who read the tale impartially,
not knowing who had written it, wrote the following criticism: "If the
author has leisure and inclination to make a picture instead of a
sketch, the material, judiciously treated, would make a novel, and I
especially see in the character and sufferings of the Quaker,
previous to his crime, matter for effective psychological treatment.
The contrast between the semi-insane nature and that of the hypocrite
might be powerfully worked up; but these are mere suggestions from an
old craftsman, who never expects younger ones to see things as
veterans do."

[Footnote 8: Vol. xvii. "Miscellanea."]

In May 1866 my Mother started _Aunt Judy's Magazine for Children_, and
she called it by this title because "Aunt Judy" was the nickname we
had given to Julie whilst she was yet our nursery story-teller, and it
had been previously used in the titles of two of my Mother's most
popular books, "Aunt Judy's Tales" and "Aunt Judy's Letters."

After my sister grew up, and began to publish stories of her own, many
mistakes occurred as to the authorship of these books. It was supposed
that the Tales and Letters were really written by Julie, and the
introductory portions that strung them together by my Mother. This was
a complete mistake; the only bits that Julie wrote in either of the
books were three brief tales, in imitation of Andersen, called [9]"The
Smut," "The Crick," and "The Brothers," which were included in "The
Black Bag" in "Aunt Judy's Letters."

[Footnote 9: These have now been reprinted in vol. xvii.

Julie's first contribution to _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ was "Mrs.
Overtheway's Remembrances," and between May 1866 and May 1867 the
three first portions of "Ida," "Mrs. Moss," and "The Snoring Ghosts,"
came out. In these stories I can trace many of the influences which
surrounded my sister whilst she was still the "always cayling Miss
Julie," suffering from constant attacks of quinsy, and in the
intervals, reviving from them with the vivacity of Madam Liberality,
and frequently going away to pay visits to her friends for change of

We had one great friend to whom Julie often went, as she lived within
a mile of our home, but on a perfectly different soil to ours.
Ecclesfield stands on clay; but Grenoside, the village where our
friend lived, is on sand, and much higher in altitude. From it we have
often looked down at Ecclesfield lying in fog, whilst at Grenoside the
air was clear and the sun shining. Here my sister loved to go, and
from the home where she was so welcome and tenderly cared for, she
drew (though no _facts_) yet much of the colouring which is seen in
Mrs. Overtheway--a solitary life lived in the fear of God; enjoyment
of the delights of a garden; with tender treasuring of dainty china
and household goods for the sake of those to whom such relics had once

Years after our friend had followed her loved ones to their better
home, and had bequeathed her egg-shell brocade to my sister, Julie had
another resting-place in Grenoside, to which she was as warmly
welcomed as to the old one, during days of weakness and convalescence.
Here, in an atmosphere of cultivated tastes and loving appreciation,
she spent many happy hours, sketching some of the villagers at their
picturesque occupations of carpet-weaving and clog-making, or amusing
herself in other ways. [10]This home, too, was broken up by Death, but
Mrs. Ewing looked back to it with great affection, and when, at the
beginning of her last illness, whilst she still expected to recover,
she was planning a visit to her Yorkshire home, she sighed to think
that Grenoside was no longer open to her.

[Footnote 10: Letters, Advent Sunday, 1881, 25th November, 1881,
January 18, 1884.]

On June 1, 1867, my sister was married to Alexander Ewing, A.P.D., son
of the late Alexander Ewing, M.D., of Aberdeen, and a week afterwards
they sailed for Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he was to be

A gap now occurred in the continuation of "Mrs. Overtheway's
Remembrances." The first contributions that Julie sent from her new
home were, "An Idyl of the Wood," and "The Three Christmas Trees."[11]
In these tales the experiences of her voyage and fresh surroundings
became apparent; but in June 1868, "Mrs. Overtheway" was continued by
the story of "Reka Dom."

[Footnote 11: Letter, 19th Sunday after Trinity, 1867.]

In this Julie reverted to the scenery of another English home where
she had spent a good deal of time during her girlhood. The winter of
1862-3 was passed by her at Clyst St. George, near Topsham, with the
family of her kind friend, Rev. H.T. Ellacombe, and she evolved Mrs.
Overtheway's "River House"[12] out of the romance roused by the sight
of quaint old houses, with quainter gardens, and strange names that
seemed to show traces of foreign residents in days gone by. "Reka Dom"
was actually the name of a house in Topsham, where a Russian family
had once lived. Speaking of this house, Major Ewing said:--On the
evening of our arrival at Fredericton, New Brunswick, which stands on
the river St. John, we strolled down, out of the principal street, and
wandered on the river shore. We stopped to rest opposite to a large
old house, then in the hands of workmen. There was only the road
between this house and the river, and, on the banks, one or two old
willows. We said we should like to make our first home in some such
spot. Ere many weeks were over, we were established in that very
house, where we spent the first year, or more, of our time in
Fredericton. We _called_ it "Reka Dom," the River House.

[Footnote 12: Letter, February 3, 1868.]

[Illustration: THE RIVER HOUSE.

For the descriptions of Father and Mother Albatross and their island
home, in the last and most beautiful tale of "Kerguelen's Land," she
was indebted to her husband, a wide traveller and very accurate
observer of nature.

To the volume of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ for 1869 she only sent "The
Land of Lost Toys,"[13] a short but very brilliant domestic story, the
wood described in it being the "Upper Shroggs," near Ecclesfield,
which had been a very favourite haunt in her childhood. In October
1869, she and Major Ewing returned to England, and from this time
until May 1877, he was stationed at Aldershot.

[Footnote 13: Letter, December 8, 1868.]

Whilst living in Fredericton my sister formed many close friendships.
It was here she first met Colonel and Mrs. Fox Strangways. In the
society of Bishop Medley and his wife she had also great happiness,
and with the former she and Major Ewing used to study Hebrew. The
cathedral services were a never-failing source of comfort, and at
these her husband frequently played the organ, especially on occasions
when anthems, which he had written at the bishop's request, were sung.

To the volume of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ for 1870 she gave "Amelia and
the Dwarfs," and "Christmas Crackers," "Benjy in Beastland," and
eight[14] "Old-fashioned Fairy Tales." "Amelia" is one of her
happiest combinations of real child life and genuine fairy lore. The
dwarfs inspired Mr. Cruikshank[15] to one of his best water-colour
sketches: who is the happy possessor thereof I do not know, but the
woodcut illustration very inadequately represents the beauty and
delicacy of the picture.

[Footnote 14: Letter, Sexagesima, 1869.]

[Footnote 15: Letters, August 3, 1880.]


Whilst speaking of the stories in this volume of _Aunt Judy's
Magazine_, I must stop to allude to one of the strongest features in
Julie's character, namely, her love for animals. She threw over them,
as over everything she touched, all the warm sympathy of her loving
heart, and it always seemed to me as if this enabled her almost to get
inside the minds of her pets, and know how to describe their

[Footnote 16: October 20, 1868.]

Another Beast Friend whom Julie had in New Brunswick was the Bear of
the 22nd Regiment, and she drew a sketch of him "with one of his pet
black dogs, as I saw them, 18th September, 1868, near the Officers'
Quarters, Fredericton, N.B. The Bear is at breakfast, and the dog
occasionally licks his nose when it comes up out of the bucket."


The pink-nosed bull-dog in "Amelia" bears a strong likeness to a
well-beloved "Hector," whom she took charge of in Fredericton whilst
his master had gone on leave to be married in England. Hector, too,
was "a snow-white bull-dog (who was certainly as well bred and as
amiable as any living creature in the kingdom)," with a pink nose that
"became crimson with increased agitation." He was absolutely gentle
with human beings, but a hopeless adept at fighting with his own kind,
and many of my sister's letters and note-books were adorned with
sketches of Hector as he appeared swollen about the head, and subdued
in spirits, after some desperate encounter; or, with cards spread out
in front of him, playing, as she delighted to make him do, at "having
his fortune told."[17] But, instead of the four Queens standing for
four ladies of different degrees of complexion, they represented his
four favourite dishes of--1. Welsh rabbit. 2. Blueberry pudding. 3.
Pork sausages. 4. Buckwheat pancakes and molasses; and "the Fortune"
decided which of these dainties he was to have for supper.


[Footnote 17: Letter, November 3, 1868.]

Shortly before the Ewings started from Fredericton they went into the
barracks, whence a battalion of some regiment had departed two days
before, and there discovered a large black retriever who had been left
behind. It is needless to say that this deserted gentleman entirely
overcame their feelings; he was at once adopted, named "Trouvé," and
brought home to England, where he spent a very happy life, chiefly in
the South Camp, Aldershot, his one danger there being that he was such
a favourite with the soldiers, they over-fed him terribly. Never did a
more benevolent disposition exist, his broad forehead and kind eyes,
set widely apart, did not belie him; there was a strong strain of
Newfoundland in his breed, and a strong likeness to a bear in the way
his feathered paws half crossed over each other in walking. Trouvé
appears as "Nox" in "Benjy," and there is a glimpse of him in "The
Sweep," who ended his days as a "soldier's dog" in "The Story of a
Short Life." Trouvé did, in reality, end his days at Ecclesfield,
where he is buried near "Rough," the broken-haired bull-terrier, who
is the real hero in "Benjy," Amongst the various animal friends whom
Julie had either of her own, or belonging to others, none was lovelier
than the golden-haired collie "Rufus," who was at once the delight
and distraction of the last year of her life at Taunton, by the tricks
he taught himself of very gently extracting the pins from her hair,
and letting it down at inconvenient moments; and of extracting, with
equal gentleness from the earth, the labels that she had put to the
various treasured flowers in her "Little Garden," and then tossing
them in mid-air on the grass-plot.

A very amusing domestic story, called "The Snap Dragons," came out in
the Christmas number of the _Monthly Packet_ for 1870.

"Timothy's Shoes" appeared in AUNT JUDY'S volume for 1871.
This was another story of the same type as "Amelia," and it was also
illustrated by Mr. Cruikshank. I think the Marsh Julie had in her
mind's eye, with a "long and steep bank," is one near the canal at
Aldershot, where she herself used to enjoy hunting for kingcups,
bog-asphodel, sundew, and the like. The tale is a charming combination
of humour and pathos, and the last clause, where "the shoes go home,"
is enough to bring tears to the eyes of every one who loves the patter
of childish feet.

The most important work that she did this year (1871) was "A Flat-Iron
for a Farthing," which ran as a serial through the volume of _Aunt
Judy's Magazine_. It was very beautifully illustrated by Helen
Paterson (now Mrs. Allingham), and the design where the "little
ladies," in big beaver bonnets, are seated at a shop-counter buying
flat-irons, was afterwards reproduced in water-colours by Mrs.
Allingham, and exhibited at the Royal Society of Painters in
Water-Colours (1875), where it attracted Mr. Ruskin's attention.[18]
Eventually, a fine steel engraving was done from it by Mr. Stodart.[19]
It is interesting to know that the girl friend who sat as a model for
"Polly" to Mrs. Allingham is now herself a well-known artist, whose
pictures are hung in the Royal Academy.

[Footnote 18: The drawing, with whatever temporary purpose executed, is
for ever lovely; a thing which I believe Gainsborough would have given
one of his own pictures for--old-fashioned as red-tipped daisies are,
and more precious than rubies.--Ruskin, "Notes on some of the Pictures
at the Royal Academy." 1875.]

[Footnote 19: Published by the Fine Art Society, Bond-street.]

The scene of the little girls in beaver bonnets was really taken from
an incident of Julie's childhood, when she and her "duplicate" (my
eldest sister) being the nearest in age, size, and appearance of any
of the family, used to be dressed exactly alike, and were inseparable
companions: _their_ flat-irons, I think, were bought in Matlock.
Shadowy glimpses of this same "duplicate" are also to be caught in
Mrs. Overtheway's "Fatima," and Madam Liberality's "Darling." When "A
Flat-Iron" came out in its book form it was dedicated "To my dear
Father, and to his sister, my dear Aunt Mary, in memory of their good
friend and nurse, E.B., obiit 3 March, 1872, æt. 83;" the loyal
devotion and high integrity of Nurse Bundle having been somewhat drawn
from the "E.B." alluded to. Such characters are not common, and they
grow rarer year by year. We do well to hold them in everlasting


    The meadows gleam with hoar-frost white,
      The day breaks on the hill,
    The widgeon takes its early flight
      Beside the frozen rill.
    From village steeples far away
      The sound of bells is borne,
    As one by one, each crimson ray
      Brings in the Christmas morn.
    Peace to all! the church bells say,
      For Christ was born on Christmas day.
                   Peace to all.

    Here, some will those again embrace
      They hold on earth most dear,
    There, some will mourn an absent face
      They lost within the year.
    Yet peace to all who smile or weep
      Is rung from earth to sky;
    But most to those to-day who keep
      The feast with Christ on high.
    Peace to all! the church bells say,
      For Christ was born on Christmas day.
                    Peace to all.

    R.A. GATTY, 1873.

During 1871, my sister published the first of her Verses for Children,
"The Little Master to his Big Dog"; she did not put her name to it in
_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, but afterwards included it in one of her Verse
Books. Two Series of these books were published during her life, and a
third Series was in the press when she died, called "Poems of Child
Life and Country Life"; though Julie had some difficulty in making up
her mind to use the term "poem," because she did not think her
irregular verses were worthy to bear the title.

She saw Mr. André's original sketches for five of the last six
volumes, and liked the illustrations to "The Poet and the Brook,"
"Convalescence," and "The Mill Stream" best.

To the volume of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ for 1872 she gave her first
"soldier" story, "The Peace Egg," and in this she began to sing those
praises of military life and courtesies which she afterwards more
fully showed forth in "Jackanapes," "The Story of a Short Life," and
the opening chapters of "Six to Sixteen." The chief incident of the
story, however, consisted in the Captain's children unconsciously
bringing peace and goodwill into the family by performing the old
Christmas play or Mystery of "The Peace Egg." This play we had been
accustomed to see acted in Yorkshire, and to act ourselves when we
were young. I recollect how proud we were on one occasion, when our
disguises were so complete, that a neighbouring farmer's wife, at
whose door we went to act, drove us as ignominiously away, as the
House-keeper did the children in the story. "Darkie," who "slipped in
last like a black shadow," and "Pax," who jumped on to Mamma's lap,
"where, sitting facing the company, he opened his black mouth and
yawned, with ludicrous inappropriateness," are life-like portraits of
two favourite dogs.

The tale was a very popular one, and many children wrote to ask where
they could buy copies of the Play in order to act it themselves. These
inquiries led Julie to compile a fresh arrangement of it, for she knew
that in its original form it was rather too roughly worded to be fit
for nursery use; so in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ (January 1884) she
published an adaptation of "The Peace Egg, a Christmas Mumming Play,"
together with some interesting information about the various versions
of it which exist in different parts of England.

She contributed "Six to Sixteen" as a serial to the Magazine in 1872,
and it was illustrated by Mrs. Allingham. When it was published as a
book, the dedication to Miss Eleanor Lloyd told that many of the
theories on the up-bringing of girls, which the story contained, were
the result of the somewhat desultory, if intellectual, home education
which we had received from our Mother. This education Miss Lloyd had,
to a great extent, shared during the happy visits she paid us; when
she entered into our interests with the zest of a sister, and in more
than one point outstripped us in following the pursuits for which
Mother gave us a taste. Julie never really either went to school or
had a governess, though for a brief period she was under the kind care
of some ladies at Brighton, but they were relations, and she went to
them more for the benefit of sea breezes than lessons. She certainly
chiefly educated herself by the "thorough" way in which she pursued
the various tastes she had inherited, and into which she was guided by
our Mother. Then she never thought she had learned _enough_, but
throughout her whole life was constantly improving and adding to her
knowledge. She owed to Mother's teaching the first principles of
drawing, and I have often seen her refer for rules on perspective to
"My Childhood in Art,"[20] a story in which these rules were fully laid
down; but Mother had no eye for colour, and not much for figure
drawing. Her own best works were etchings on copper of trees and
landscapes, whereas Julie's artistic talent lay more in colours and
human forms. The only real lessons in sketching she ever had were a
few from Mr. Paul Naftel, years after she was married.

[Footnote 20: Included in "The Human Face Divine, and other Tales." By
Margaret Gatty. Bell and Sons.]

One of her favourite methods for practising drawing was to devote
herself to thoroughly studying the sketches of some one master, in
order to try and unravel the special principles on which he had
worked, and then to copy his drawings. She pursued this plan with some
of Chinnery's curious and effective water-colour sketches, which were
lent to her by friends, and she found it a very useful one. She made
copies from De Wint, Turner, and others, in the same way, and
certainly the labour she threw into her work enabled her to produce
almost facsimiles of the originals. She was greatly interested one day
by hearing a lady, who ranks as one of the best living English writers
of her sex, say that when she was young she had practised the art of
writing in just the same way that Julie pursued that of drawing,
namely, by devoting herself to reading the works of one writer at a
time, until her brain was so saturated with his style that she could
write exactly like him, and then passing on to an equally careful
study of some other author.

The life-like details of the "cholera season," in the second chapter
of "Six to Sixteen," were drawn from facts that Major Ewing told his
wife of a similar season which he had passed through in China, and
during which he had lost several friends; but the touching episode of
Margery's birthday present, and Mr. Abercrombie's efforts to console
her, were purely imaginary.

Several of the "Old-fashioned Fairy Tales" which Julie wrote during
this (1872) and previous years in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_, were on
Scotch topics, and she owed the striking accuracy of her local
colouring and dialect, as well as her keen intuition of Scotch
character, to visits that she paid to Major Ewing's relatives in the
North, and also to reading such typical books as _Mansie Wauch, the
Tailor of Dalkeith_, a story which she greatly admired. She liked to
study national types of character, and when she wrote "We and the
World," one of its chief features was meant to be the contrast drawn
between the English, Scotch, and Irish heroes; thanks to her wide
sympathy she was as keenly able to appreciate the rugged virtues of
the dour Scotch race, as the more quick and graceful beauties of the
Irish mind.

[Illustration: AMESBURY]

The Autumn Military Manoeuvres in 1872 were held near Salisbury
Plain, and Major Ewing was so much fascinated by the quaint old town
of Amesbury, where he was quartered, that he took my sister afterwards
to visit the place. The result of this was that her "Miller's
Thumb"[21] came out as a serial in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ during 1873.
All the scenery is drawn from the neighbourhood of Amesbury, and the
Wiltshire dialect she acquired by the aid of a friend, who procured
copies for her of _Wiltshire Tales_ and _A Glossary of Wiltshire Words
and Phrases_, both by J.Y. Akerman, F.S.A. She gleaned her practical
knowledge of life in a windmill, and a "Miller's Thumb," from an old
man who used to visit her hut in the South Camp, Aldershot, having
fallen from being a Miller with a genuine Thumb, to the less exalted
position of hawking muffins in winter and "Sally Lunns" in summer!
Mrs. Allingham illustrated the story; two of her best designs were Jan
and his Nurse Boy sitting on the plain watching the crows fly, and
Jan's first effort at drawing on his slate. It was published as a book
in 1876, and dedicated to our eldest sister, and the title was then
altered to "Jan of the Windmill, a Story of the Plains."

[Footnote 21: Letter, August 25, 1872.]

Three poems of Julie's came out in the volume of _Aunt Judy's
Magazine_ for 1873, "The Willow Man," "Ran away to Sea," and "A Friend
in the Garden"; her name was not given to the last, but it is a
pleasant little rhyme about a toad. She also wrote during this year
"Among the Merrows," a fantastic account of a visit she paid to the
Aquarium at the Crystal Palace.

In October 1873, our Mother died, and my sister contributed a short
memoir of her[22] to the November number of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_. To
the December number she gave "Madam Liberality."

[Footnote 22: Included in "Parables from Nature." By Mrs. Alfred Gatty.
Complete edition. Bell and Sons.]

For two years after Mother's death, Julie shared the work of editing
the Magazine with me, and then she gave it up, as we were not living
together, and so found the plan rather inconvenient; also the task of
reading MSS. and writing business letters wasted time which she could
spend better on her own stories.

At the end of the year 1873, she brought out a book, "Lob
Lie-by-the-Fire, and other Tales," consisting of five stories, three
of which--"Timothy's Shoes," "Benjy in Beastland," and "The Peace
Egg,"--had already been published in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_, whilst
"Old Father Christmas" had appeared in _Little Folks_; but the first
tale of "Lob" was specially written for the volume.[23]

[Footnote 23: Letter, August 10, 1873.]

The character of McAlister in this story is a Scotchman of the Scotch,
and, chiefly in consequence of this fact, the book was dedicated to
James Boyn McCombie, an uncle of Major Ewing, who always showed a most
kind and helpful interest in my sister's literary work.

He died a few weeks before she did, much to her sorrow, but the
Dedication remained when the story came out in a separate form,
illustrated by Mr. Caldecott. The incident which makes the tale
specially appropriate to be dedicated to so true and unobtrusive a
philanthropist as Mr. McCombie was known to be, is the Highlander's
burning anxiety to rescue John Broom from his vagrant career.

"Lob" contains some of Julie's brightest flashes of humour, and ends
happily, but in it, as in many of her tales, "the dusky strand of
death" appears, inwoven with, and thereby heightening, the joys of
love and life. It is a curious fact that, though her power of
describing death-bed scenes was so vivid, I believe she never saw any
one die; and I will venture to say that her description of McAlister's
last hours surpasses in truth and power the end of Leonard's "Short
Life"; the extinction of the line of "Old Standards" in Daddy Darwin;
the unseen call that led Jan's Schoolmaster away; and will even bear
comparison with Jackanapes' departure through the Grave to that "other
side" where "the Trumpets sounded for him."

In order to appreciate the end, it is almost necessary, perhaps, to
have followed John Broom, the ne'er-do-weel lad, and McAlister, the
finest man in his regiment, through the scenes which drew them
together, and to read how the soldier, who might and ought to have
been a "sairgent," tried to turn the boy back from pursuing the
downward path along which he himself had taken too many steps; and
then learn how the vagrant's grateful love and agility enabled him to
awaken the sleeping sentinel at his post, and save "the old soldier's

     John Broom remained by his friend, whose painful fits of coughing,
     and of gasping for breath, were varied by intervals of seeming
     stupor. When a candle had been brought in and placed near the bed,
     the Highlander roused himself and asked:

     "Is there a Bible on yon table? Could ye read a bit to me, laddie?"

     There is little need to dwell on the bitterness of heart with which
     John Broom confessed:

     "I can't read big words, McAlister!"

     "Did ye never go to school?" said the Scotchman.

     "I didn't learn," said the poor boy; "I played."

     "Aye, aye. Weel ye'll learn when ye gang hame," said the
     Highlander, in gentle tones.

     "I'll never get home," said John Broom, passionately. "I'll never
     forgive myself. I'll never get over it, that I couldn't read to ye
     when ye wanted me, McAlister."

     "Gently, gently," said the Scotchman. "Dinna daunt yoursel' ower
     much wi' the past, laddie. And for me--I'm not that presoomtious to
     think I can square up a misspent life as a man might compound wi's
     creditors. 'Gin He forgi'es me, He'll forgi'e; but it's not a
     prayer up or a chapter down that'll stan' between me and the
     Almighty. So dinna fret yoursel', but let me think while I may."

     And so, far into the night, the Highlander lay silent, and John
     Broom watched by him.

     It was just midnight when he partly raised himself, and cried:

     "Whist, laddie! do ye hear the pipes?"

     The dying ears must have been quick, for John Broom heard nothing;
     but in a few minutes he heard the bagpipes from the officers' mess,
     where they were keeping Hogmenay. They were playing the old year
     out with "Auld Lang Syne," and the Highlander beat the time out
     with his hand, and his eyes gleamed out of his rugged face in the
     dim light, as cairngorms glitter in dark tartan.

     There was a pause after the first verse, and he grew restless, and
     turning doubtfully to where John Broom sat, as if his sight were
     failing, he said: "Ye'll mind your promise, ye'll gang hame?" And
     after a while he repeated the last word "Hame!"

     But as he spoke there spread over his face a smile so tender and so
     full of happiness, that John Broom held his breath as he watched

     As the light of sunrise creeps over the face of some rugged rock,
     it crept from chin to brow, and the pale blue eyes shone tranquil,
     like water that reflects heaven.

     And when it had passed it left them still open, but gems that had
     lost their ray.

Death-beds are not the only things which Julie had the power of
picturing out of her inner consciousness apart from actual experience.
She was much amused by the pertinacity with which unknown
correspondents occasionally inquired after her "little ones," unable
to give her the credit of describing and understanding children unless
she possessed some of her own. There is a graceful touch at the end of
"Lob," which seems to me one of the most delicate evidences of her
universal sympathy with all sorts and conditions of men,--and women!
It is similar in character to the passage I alluded to in "Timothy's
Shoes," where they clatter away for the last time, into silence.

     Even after the sobering influences of middle age had touched him,
     and a wife and children bound him with the quiet ties of home, he
     had (at long intervals) his "restless times," when his good
     "missis" would bring out a little store laid by in one of the
     children's socks, and would bid him "Be off, and get a breath of
     the sea air," but on condition that the sock went with, him as his
     purse. John Broom always looked ashamed to go, but he came back the
     better, and his wife was quite easy in his absence with that
     confidence in her knowledge of "the master," which is so mysterious
     to the unmarried.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The sock 'll bring him home," said Mrs. Broom, and home he came,
     and never could say what he had been doing.

In 1874 Julie wrote "A Great Emergency" as a serial for the Magazine,
and took great pains to corroborate the accuracy of her descriptions
of barge life for it.[24] I remember our inspecting a barge on the
canal at Aldershot, with a friend who understood all its details, and
we arranged to go on an expedition in it to gain further experience,
but were somehow prevented. The allusions to Dartmouth arose from our
visit there, of which I have already spoken, and which took place
whilst she was writing the tale; and her knowledge of the intricacies
of the Great Eastern Railway between Fenchurch Street Station and
North Woolwich came from the experience she gained when we went on
expeditions to Victoria Docks, where one of our brothers was doing
parochial work under Canon Boyd.

[Footnote 24: Letter, July 22, 1874.]

During 1874 five of her "Verses for Children" came out in the
Magazine, two of which, "Our Garden," and "Three Little Nest-Birds,"
were written to fit old German woodcuts. The others were "The Dolls'
Wash," "The Blue Bells on the Lea," and "The Doll's Lullaby." She
wrote an article on "May-Day, Old Style and New Style," in 1874, and
also contributed fifty-two brief "Tales of the Khoja,"[25] which she
adapted from the Turkish by the aid of a literal translation of them
given in Barker's _Reading-Book of the Turkish Language_, and by the
help of Major Ewing, who possessed some knowledge of the Turkish
language and customs, and assisted her in polishing the stories. They
are thoroughly Eastern in character, and full of dry wit.

[Footnote 25: "Miscellanea," vol. xvii.]

I must here digress to speak of some other work that my sister did
during the time she lived in Aldershot. Both she and Major Ewing took
great interest in the amateur concerts and private musical
performances that took place in the camp, and the V.C. in "The Story
of a Short Life," with a fine tenor voice, and a "fastidious choice in
the words of the songs he sang," is a shadow of these past days. The
want that many composers felt of good words for setting to music, led
Julie to try to write some, and eventually, in 1874, a book of "Songs
for Music, by Four Friends,"[26] was published; the contents were
written by my sister and two of her brothers, and the Rev. G.J.
Chester. This book became a standing joke amongst them, because one of
the reviewers said it contained "songs by four writers, _one_ of whom
was a poet," and he did not specify the one by name.

[Footnote 26: H. King and Co.]

During 1875 Julie was again aided by her husband in the work that she
did for _Aunt Judy's Magazine_. "Cousin Peregrine's three Wonder
Stories "--1. "The Chinese Jugglers and the Englishman's Hand"; 2.
"The Waves of the Great South Sea"; and 3. "Jack of Pera"[27]--were a
combination of his facts and her wording. She added only one more to
her Old-fashioned Fairy Tales, "Good Luck is Better than Gold," but it
is one of her most finished bits of art, and she placed it first, when
the tales came out in a volume.

[Footnote 27: "Miscellanea," vol. xvii.]

The Preface to this book is well worth the study of those who are
interested in the composition of Fairy literature; and the theories on
which Julie wrote her own tales.[28]

[Footnote 28: Letter, Septuagesima, 1869.]

She also wrote (in 1875) an article on "Little Woods," and a domestic
story called "A very Ill-tempered Family."

The incident of Isobel's reciting the _Te Deum_ is a touching one,
because the habit of repeating it by heart, especially in bed at
night, was one which Julie herself had practised from the days of
childhood, when, I believe, it was used to drive away the terrors of
darkness. The last day on which she expressed any expectation of
recovering from her final illness was one on which she said, "I think
I must be getting better, for I've repeated the _Te Deum_ all through,
and since I've been ill I've only been able to say a few sentences at
once." This was certainly the last time that she recited the great
Hymn of Praise before she joined the throng of those who sing it day
and night before the throne of God. The German print of the
Crucifixion, on which Isobel saw the light of the setting sun fall, is
one which has hung over my sister's drawing-room fire-place in every
home of wood or stone which she has had for many years past.

The Child Verse, "A Hero to his Hobby-horse," came out in the Magazine
volume for 1875, and, like many of the other verses, it was written to
fit a picture.

One of the happiest inspirations from pictures, however, appeared in
the following volume (1876), the story of "Toots and Boots," but
though the picture of the ideal Toots was cast like a shadow before
him, the actual Toots, name and all complete, had a real existence,
and his word-portrait was taken from life. He belonged to the mess of
the Royal Engineers in the South Camp, Aldershot, and was as
dignified as if he held the office of President. I shall never forget
one occasion on which he was invited to luncheon at Mrs. Ewing's hut,
that I might have the pleasure of making his acquaintance; he had to
be unwillingly carried across the Lines in the arms of an obliging
subaltern, but directly he arrived, without waiting even for the first
course, he struggled out of the officer's embrace and galloped back to
his own mess-table, tail erect and thick with rage at the indignity he
had undergone.

"Father Hedgehog and his Friends," in this same volume (1876), was
also written to some excellent German woodcuts; and it, too, is a
wonderfully brilliant sketch of animal life; perhaps the human beings
in the tale are scarcely done justice to. We feel as if Sybil and
Basil, and the Gipsy Mother and Christian, had scarcely room to
breathe in the few pages that they are crowded into; there is
certainly too much "subject" here for the size of the canvas!--but
Father Hedgehog takes up little space, and every syllable about him is
as keenly pointed as the spines on his back. The method by which he
silenced awkward questions from any of his family is truly delightful:

     "Will the donkey be cooked when he is fat?" asked my mother.

     "I smell valerian," said my father, on which she put out her nose,
     and he ran at it with his prickles. He always did this when he was
     annoyed with any of his family; and though we knew what was coming,
     we are all so fond of valerian, we could never resist the
     temptation to sniff, just on the chance of there being some about.

Then, the following season, we find the Hedgehog Son grown into a
parent, and, with the "little hoard of maxims" he had inherited,
checking the too inquiring minds of his offspring:

     "What is a louis d'or?" cried three of my children; and "What is
     brandy?" asked the other four.

     "I smell valerian," said I; on which they poked out their seven
     noses, and I ran at them with my spines, for a father who is not an
     Encyclopædia on all fours must adopt _some_ method of checking the
     inquisitiveness of the young.

One more quotation must be made from the end of the story, where
Father Hedgehog gives a list of the fates that befell his children:

     Number one came to a sad end. What on the face of the wood made him
     think of pheasants' eggs I cannot conceive. I'm sure I never said
     anything about them! It was whilst he was scrambling along the edge
     of the covert, that he met the Fox, and very properly rolled
     himself into a ball. The Fox's nose was as long as his own, and he
     rolled my poor son over and over with it, till he rolled him into
     the stream. The young urchins swim like fishes, but just as he was
     scrambling to shore, the Fox caught him by the waistcoat and killed
     him. I do hate slyness!

It seems scarcely conceivable that any one can sympathize sufficiently
with a Hedgehog as to place himself in the latter's position, and
share its paternal anxieties,--but I think Julie was able to do so,
or, at any rate, her translations of the Hedgepig's whines were so
_ben trovati_, they may well stand until some better interpreter of
the languages of the brute creation rises up amongst us. As another
instance of her breadth of sympathy with beasts, let us turn to "A
Week Spent in a Glass Pond" (which also came out in _Aunt Judy's
Magazine_ for 1876), and quote her summary of the Great Water-beetle's
views on life:

     After living as I can, in all three--water, dry land, and air,--I
     certainly prefer to be under water. Any one whose appetite is as
     keen, and whose hind-legs are as powerful as mine, will understand
     the delights of hunting, and being hunted, in a pond; where the
     light comes down in fitful rays and reflections through the water,
     and gleams among the hanging roots of the frog-bit, and the fading
     leaves of the water-starwort, through the maze of which, in and
     out, hither and thither, you pursue and are pursued, in cool and
     skilful chase, by a mixed company of your neighbours, who dart, and
     shoot, and dive, and come and go, and any one of whom, at any
     moment, may either eat you or be eaten by you. And if you want
     peace and quiet, where can one bury oneself so safely and
     completely as in the mud? A state of existence without mud at the
     bottom, must be a life without repose!

I must here venture to remark, that the chief and lasting value of
whatever both my sister and my mother wrote about animals, or any
other objects in Nature, lies in the fact that they invariably took
the utmost pains to verify whatever statements they made relating to
those objects. Spiritual Laws can only be drawn from the Natural World
when they are based on Truth.

Julie spared no trouble in trying to ascertain whether Hedgehogs _do_
or do not eat pheasants' eggs; she consulted _The Field_, and books on
sport, and her sporting friends, and when she found it was a disputed
point, she determined to give the Hedgepig the benefit of the doubt.
Then the taste for valerian, and the fox's method of capture, were
drawn from facts, and the gruesome details as to who ate who in the
Glass Pond were equally well founded!

This (1876) volume of the Magazine is rich in contributions from
Julie, the reason being that she was stronger in health whilst she
lived at Aldershot than during any other period of her life. The sweet
dry air of the "Highwayman's Heath"--bared though it was of
heather!--suited her so well, she could sleep with her hut windows
open, and go out into her garden at any hour of the evening without
fear of harm. She liked to stroll out and listen to "Retreat" being
sounded at sundown, especially when it was the turn of some regiment
with pipes to perform the duty; they sounded so shrill and weird,
coming from the distant hill through the growing darkness.


We held a curious function one hot July evening during Retreat, when,
the Fates being propitious, it was the turn of the 42nd Highlanders to
play. My sister had taken compassion on a stray collie puppy a few
weeks before, and adopted him; he was very soft-coated and fascinating
in his ways, despite his gawky legs, and promised to grow into a
credit to his race. But it seemed he was too finely bred to survive
the ravages of distemper, for, though he was tenderly nursed, he died.
A wreath of flowers was hung round his neck, and, as he lay on his
bier, Julie made a sketch of him, with the inscription, "The Little
Colley, Eheu! Taken in, June 14. In spite of care, died July 1.
_Speravimus meliora_." Major Ewing, wearing a broad Scotch bonnet,
dug a grave in the garden, and as we had no "dinner-bell" to muffle,
we waited till the pipers broke forth at sundown with an appropriate
air, and then lowered the little Scotch dog into his resting-place.

During her residence at Aldershot Julie wrote three of her longest
books--"A Flat Iron for a Farthing," "Six to Sixteen," and "Jan of the
Windmill," besides all the shorter tales and verses that she
contributed to the Magazine between 1870 and 1877. The two short tales
which seem to me her very best came out in 1876, namely, "Our Field"
(about which I have already spoken) and "The Blind Man and the Talking
Dog." Both the stories were written to fit some old German woodcuts,
but they are perfectly different in style; "Our Field" is told in the
language and from the fresh heart of a Child; whilst the "Blind Man"
is such a picture of life from cradle to grave--aye, and stretching
forward into the world beyond,--as could only have come forth from the
experiences of Age. But though this be so, the lesson shown of how the
Boy's story foreshadows the Man's history, is one which cannot be
learned too early.

Julie never pictured a dearer dog than the Peronet whom she originated
from the fat stumpy-tailed puppy who is seen playing with the children
in the woodcut to "Our Field."

     People sometimes asked us what kind of a dog he was, but we never
     knew, except that he was the nicest possible kind.... Peronet was
     as fond of the Field as we were. What he liked were the little
     birds. At least, I don't know that he liked them, but they were
     what he chiefly attended to. I think he knew that it was our field,
     and thought he was the watch-dog of it; and whenever a bird settled
     down anywhere, he barked at it, and then it flew away, and he ran
     barking after it till he lost it; by that time another had settled
     down, and then Peronet flew at him, all up and down the hedge. He
     never caught a bird, and never would let one sit down, if he could
     see it.

Then what a vista is opened by the light that is "left out" in the
concluding words:--

     I know that Our Field does not exactly belong to us. I wonder whom
     it does belong to? Richard says he believes it belongs to the
     gentleman who lives at the big red house among the trees. But he
     must be wrong; for we see that gentleman at church every Sunday,
     but we never saw him in Our Field.

     And I don't believe anybody could have such a field of their very
     own, and never come to see it, from one end of summer to the other.

It is almost impossible to quote portions of the "Blind Man" without
marring the whole. The story is so condensed--only four pages in
length; it is one of the most striking examples of my sister's
favourite rule in composition, "never use two words where one will
do." But from these four brief pages we learn as much as if four
volumes had been filled with descriptions of the characters of the
Mayor's son and Aldegunda,--from her birthday, on which the boy
grumbled because "she toddles as badly as she did yesterday, though
she's a year older," and "Aldegunda sobbed till she burst the strings
of her hat, and the boy had to tie them afresh,"--to the day of their
wedding, when the Bridegroom thinks he can take possession of the
Blind Man's Talking Dog, because the latter had promised to leave his
master and live with the hero, if ever he could claim to be perfectly
happy--happier than him whom he regarded as "a poor wretched old
beggar in want of everything."

As they rode together in search of the Dog:

     Aldegunda thought to herself--"We are so happy, and have so much,
     that I do not like to take the Blind Man's dog from him"; but she
     did not dare to say so. One--if not two--must bear and forbear to
     be happy, even on one's wedding-day.

And, when they reached their journey's end, Lazarus was no longer "the
wretched one ... miserable, poor, and blind," but was numbered amongst
the blessed Dead, and the Dog was by his grave:

     "Come and live with me, now your old master is gone," said the
     young man, stooping over the dog. But he made no reply.

     "I think he is dead, sir," said the gravedigger.

     "I don't believe it," said the young man, fretfully. "He was an
     Enchanted Dog, and he promised I should have him when I could say
     what I am ready to say now. He should have kept his promise." But
     Aldegunda had taken the dog's cold head into her arms, and her
     tears fell fast over it.

     "You forget," she said; "he only promised to come to you when you
     were happy, if his old master was not happier still: and perhaps--"

     "I remember that you always disagree with me," said the young man,
     impatiently. "You always did so. Tears on our wedding-day, too! I
     suppose the truth is, that no one is happy."

     Aldegunda made no answer, for it is not from those one loves that
     he will willingly learn that with a selfish and imperious temper
     happiness never dwells.

The "Blind Man" was inserted in the Magazine as an "Old-Fashioned
Fairy Tale," and Julie wrote another this year (1876) under the same
heading, which was called "I Won't."

She also wrote a delightfully funny Legend, "The Kyrkegrim turned
Preacher," about a Norwegian Brownie, or Niss, whose duty was "to keep
the church clean, and to scatter the marsh marigolds on the floor
before service," but, like other church-sweepers, his soul was
troubled by seeing the congregation neglect to listen to the preacher,
and fall asleep during his sermons. Then the Kyrkegrim, feeling sure
that he could make more impression on their hardened hearts than the
priest did, ascended from the floor to the pulpit, and tried to set
the world to rights; but eventually he was glad to return to his
broom, and leave "heavier responsibilities in higher hands."

She contributed "Hints for Private Theatricals. In Letters from Burnt
Cork to Rouge Pot," which were probably suggested by the private
theatricals in which she was helping at Aldershot; and she wrote four
of her best Verses for Children: "Big Smith," "House-building and
Repairs," "An Only Child's Tea-party," and "Papa Poodle."

"The Adventures of an Elf" is a poem to some clever silhouette
pictures of Fedor Flinzer's, which she freely adapted from the German.
"The Snarling Princess" is a fairy tale also adapted from the German;
but neither of these contributions was so well worth the trouble of
translation as a fine dialogue from the French of Jean Macé called
"War and the Dead," which Julie gave to the number of _Aunt Judy_ for
October 1866.[29] "The Princes of Vegetation" (April 1876) is an
article on Palm-trees, to which family Linnæus had given this noble

[Footnote 29: These translations are included in "Miscellanea," vol.

The last contribution, in 1876, which remains to be mentioned is
"Dandelion Clocks," a short tale; but it will need rather a long
introduction, as it opens out into a fresh trait of my sister's
character, namely, her love for flowers.

It need scarcely be said that she wrote as accurately about them as
about everything else; and, in addition to this, she enveloped them in
such an atmosphere of sentiment as served to give life and
individuality to their inanimate forms. The habit of weaving stories
round them began in girlhood, when she was devoted to reading Mr. J.G.
Wood's graceful translation of Alphonse Karr's _Voyage autour de mon
Jardin_. The book was given to her in 1856 by her father, and it
exercised a strong influence upon her mind. What else made the
ungraceful Buddlæa lovely in her eyes? I confess that when she pointed
out the shrub to me, for the first time, in Mr. Ellacombe's garden, it
looked so like the "Plum-pudding tree" in the "Willow pattern," and
fell so far short of my expectation of the plant over which the two
florists had squabbled, that I almost wished that I had not seen it!
Still I did not share their discomfiture so fully as to think "it no
longer good for anything but firewood!"

Karr's fifty-eighth "Letter" nearly sufficed to enclose a declaration
of love in every bunch of "yellow roses" which Julie tied together;
and to plant an "Incognito" for discovery in every bed of tulips she
looked at; whilst her favourite Letter XL., on the result produced by
inhaling the odour of bean flowers, embodies the spirit of the ideal
existence which she passed, as she walked through the fields of our
work-a-day world:

     The beans were in full blossom. But a truce to this cold-hearted
     pleasantry. No, it is not a folly to be under the empire of the
     most beautiful--the most noble feelings; it is no folly to feel
     oneself great, strong, invincible; it is not a folly to have a
     good, honest, and generous heart; it is no folly to be filled with
     good faith; it is not a folly to devote oneself for the good of
     others; it is not a folly to live thus out of real life.

     No, no; that cold wisdom which pronounces so severe a judgment upon
     all it cannot do; that wisdom which owes its birth to the death of
     so many great, noble, and sweet things; that wisdom which only
     comes with infirmities, and which decorates them with such fine
     names--which calls decay of the powers of the stomach and loss of
     appetite sobriety; the cooling of the heart and the stagnation of
     the blood a return to reason; envious impotence a disdain for
     futile things;--this wisdom would be the greatest, the most
     melancholy of follies, if it were not the commencement of the death
     of the heart and the senses.

"Dandelion Clocks" resembles one of Karr's "Letters" in containing the
germs of a three volumed romance, but they _are_ the germs only--and
the "proportions" of the picture are consequently well preserved.
Indeed, the tale always reminds me of a series of peaceful scenes by
Cuyp, with low horizons, sleek cattle, and a glow in the sky
betokening the approach of sunset. First we have "Peter Paul and his
two sisters playing in the pastures" at blowing dandelion clocks:

     Rich, green, Dutch pastures, unbroken by hedge or wall, which
     stretched--like an emerald ocean--to the horizon and met the sky.
     The cows stood ankle-deep in it and chewed the cud, the clouds
     sailed slowly over it to the sea, and on a dry hillock sat Mother,
     in her broad sun-hat, with one eye to the cows, and one to the
     linen she was bleaching, thinking of her farm.

The actual _outlines_ of this scene may be traced in the German
woodcut to which the tale was written, but the _colouring_ is Julie's!
The only disturbing element in this quiet picture is Peter Paul's
restless, inquiring heart. What wonder that when his bulb-growing
uncle fails to solve the riddle of life, Peter Paul should go out into
the wider world and try to find a solution for himself? But the
answers to our life problems full often are to be found within, for
those who will look, and so Peter Paul comes back after some years to
find that:

     The elder sister was married and had two children. She had grown up
     very pretty--a fair woman, with liquid misleading eyes. They looked
     as if they were gazing into the far future, but they did not see an
     inch beyond the farm. Anna was a very plain copy of her in body; in
     mind she was the elder sister's echo. They were very fond of each
     other, and the prettiest thing about them was their faithful love
     for their mother, whose memory was kept as green as pastures after

Peter Paul's temperament, however, was not one that could adapt itself
to a stagnant existence; so when his three weeks on shore are ended,
we see him on his way from the Home Farm to join his ship:

     Leena walked far over the pastures with Peter Paul. She was very
     fond of him, and she had a woman's perception that they would miss
     him more than he could miss them.

     "I am very sorry you could not settle down with us," she said, and
     her eyes brimmed over.

     Peter Paul kissed the tears tenderly from her cheeks.

     "Perhaps I shall when I am older, and have shaken off a few more of
     my whims into the sea. I'll come back yet, Leena, and live very
     near to you, and grow tulips, and be as good an old bachelor-uncle
     to your boy as Uncle Jacob is to me."

       *       *       *       *       *

     When they got to the hillock where Mother used to sit, Peter Paul
     took her once more into his arms.

     "Good-bye, good sister," he said, "I have been back in my childhood
     again, and GOD knows that is both pleasant and good for one."

     "And it is funny that you should say so," said Leena, smiling
     through her tears; "for when we were children you were never happy
     except in thinking of when you should be a man."

And with this salutary home-thrust (which thoroughly commonplace
minds have such a provoking faculty for giving) Leena went back to her
children and cattle.

Happy for the artistic temperament that can profit by such rebuffs!


    Yet, how few believe such doctrine springs
            From a poor root,
    Which all the winter sleeps here under foot,
            And hath no wings
    To raise it to the truth and light of things;
            But is stil trod
    By ev'ry wand'ring clod.

    O Thou, Whose Spirit did at first inflame
            And warm the dead,
    And by a sacred incubation fed
            With life this frame,
    Which once had neither being, forme, nor name,
            Grant I may so
    Thy steps track here below,

    That in these masques and shadows I may see
            Thy sacred way;
    And by those hid ascents climb to that day
            Which breaks from Thee,
    Who art in all things, though invisibly,
            "_The Hidden Flower_."


One of the causes which helped to develop my sister's interest in
flowers was the sight of the fresh ones that she met with on going to
live in New Brunswick after her marriage. Every strange face was a
subject for study, and she soon began to devote a note-book to
sketches of these new friends, naming them scientifically from
Professor Asa Gray's _Manual of the Botany of the Northern United
States_, whilst Major Ewing added as many of the Melicete names as he
could glean from Peter, a member of the tribe, who had attached
himself to the Ewings, and used constantly to come about their house.
Peter and his wife lived in a small colony of the Melicete Indians,
which was established on the opposite side of the St. John River to
that on which the Reka Dom stood. Mrs. Peter was the most skilful
embroiderer in beads amongst her people, and Peter himself the best
canoe-builder. He made a beautiful one for the Ewings, which they
constantly used; and when they returned to England his regret at
losing them was wonderfully mitigated by the present which Major Ewing
gave him of an old gun; he declared no gentleman had ever thought of
giving him such a thing before!

Julie introduced several of the North American flowers into her
stories. The Tabby-striped Arum, or Jack-in-the-Pulpit (as it is
called in Mr. Whittier's delightful collection of child-poems[30]),
appears in "We and the World," where Dennis, the rollicking Irish
hero, unintentionally raises himself in the estimation of his
sober-minded Scotch companion Alister, by betraying that he "can
speak with other tongues," from his ability to converse with a squaw
in French on the subject of the bunch of Arums he had gathered, and
was holding in his hand.

[Footnote 30: _Child Life._ Edited by J.G. Whittier. Nesbitt and Co.]

This allusion was only a slight one, but Julie wrote a complete story
on one species of Trillium, having a special affection for the whole
genus. Trilliums are amongst the North American herbaceous plants
which have lately become fashionable, and easy to be bought in
England; but ere they did so, Julie made some ineffectual attempts to
transplant tubers of them into English soil; and the last letter she
received from Fredericton contained a packet of red Trillium seeds,
which came too late to be sown before she died. The species which she
immortalized in "The Blind Hermit and the Trinity Flower," was _T.
erythrocarpum_. The story is a graceful legend of an old Hermit whose
life was spent in growing herbs for the healing of diseases; and when
he, in his turn, was struck with blindness, he could not reconcile
himself to the loss of the occupation which alone seemed to make him
of use in the world. "They also serve who only stand and wait" was a
hard lesson to learn; every day he prayed for some Balm of Gilead to
heal his ill, and restore his sight, and the prayer was answered,
though not in the manner that he desired. First he was supplied with a
serving-boy, who became eyes and feet to him, from gratitude for
cures which the Hermit had done to the lad himself; and then a vision
was granted to the old man, wherein he saw a flower which would heal
his blindness:--


     "And what was the Trinity Flower like, my Father?" asked the boy.

     "It was about the size of Herb Paris, my son," replied the Hermit.
     "But, instead of being fourfold every way, it numbered the mystic
     Three. Every part was threefold. The leaves were three, the petals
     three, the sepals three. The flower was snow-white, but on each of
     the three parts it was stained with crimson stripes, like white
     garments dyed in blood."

A root of this plant was sent to the Hermit by a heavenly messenger,
which the boy planted, and anxiously watched the growth of, cheering
his master with the hope--"Patience, my Father, thou shalt see yet!"

Meantime greater light was breaking in upon the Hermit's soul than had
been there before:

     "My son, I repent me that I have not been patient under affliction.
     Moreover, I have set thee an ill example, in that I have murmured
     at that which God--Who knoweth best--ordained for me."

     And, when the boy ofttimes repeated, "Thou shalt yet see," the
     Hermit answered, "If God will. When God will. As God will."

And at last, when the white bud opens, and the blood-like stains are
visible within, he who once was blind sees, but his vision is opened
on eternal Day.

In _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ for 1877 there is another Flower Legend, but
of an English plant, the Lily of the Valley. Julie called the tale by
the old-fashioned name of the flower, "Ladders to Heaven." The scenery
is pictured from spots near her Yorkshire home, where she was
accustomed to seeing beautiful valleys blackened by smoke from
iron-furnaces, and the woods beyond the church, where she liked to
ramble, filled with desolate heaps of black shale, the refuse left
round the mouths of disused coal and iron-stone pits. I remember how
glad we were when we found the woolly-leaved yellow Mullein growing on
some of these dreary places, and helping to cover up their nakedness.
In later years my sister heard with much pleasure that a mining friend
was doing what he could to repair the damages he had made on the
beauty of the country, by planting over the worked-out mines such
trees and plants as would thrive in the poor and useless shale, which
was left as a covering to once rich and valuable spots.


"Brothers of Pity" (_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, 1877) shows a deep and
minute insight into the feelings of a solitary child, which one
fancies Julie must have acquired by the process of contrast with her
own surroundings of seven brethren and sisters. A similar power of
perception was displayed in her verses on "An Only Child's Tea-party."

She remembered from experiences of our own childhood what a favourite
game "funerals" is with those whose "whole vocation" is yet "endless
imitation"; and she had watched the soldiers' children in camp play at
it so often that she knew it was not only the bright covering of the
Union Jack which made death lovely in their eyes, "Blind Baby" enjoyed
it for the sake of the music; and even civilians' children, who see
the service devoid of sweet sounds, and under its blackest and most
revolting aspect, still are strangely fascinated thereby. Julie had
heard about one of these, a lonely motherless boy, whose chief joy was
to harness Granny to his "hearse" and play at funeral processions
round the drawing-room, where his dead mother had once toddled in her

The boy in "Brothers of Pity" is the principal character, and the
animals occupy minor positions. Cock-Robin only appears as a corpse on
the scene; and Julie did not touch much on bird pets in any of her
tales, chiefly because she never kept one, having too much sympathy
with their powers and cravings for flight to reconcile herself to
putting them in cages. The flight and recapture of Cocky in "Lob" were
drawn from life, though the bird did not belong to her, but her
descriptions of how he stood on the window-sill "scanning the summer
sky with his fierce eyes, and flapping himself in the breeze,... bowed
his yellow crest, spread his noble wings, and sailed out into the
æther";... and his "dreams of liberty in the tree-tops," all show the
light in which she viewed the practice of keeping birds in
confinement. Her verses on "Three Little Nest-Birds" and her tale of
the Thrush in "An Idyll of the Wood" bear witness to the same feeling.
Major Ewing remembers how often she used to wish, when passing
bird-shops, that she could "buy the whole collection and set them all
free,"--a desire which suggests a quaint vision of her in Seven
Dials, with a mixed flock of macaws, canaries, parrots and thrushes
shrieking and flying round her head; but the wish was worthy of her in
(what Mr. Howells called) "woman's heaven-born ignorance of the
insuperable difficulties of doing right."

In this (1877) volume of _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ there is a striking
portrait of another kind of animal pet, the "Kit" who is resolved to
choose her own "cradle," and not to sleep where she is told. It is
needless to say that she gets her own way, since,--

    There's a soft persistence about a cat
    That even a little kitten can show.

She has, however, the grace to purr when she is pleased, which all
kits and cats have not!

    I'm happy in ev'ry hair of my fur,
    They may keep the hamper and hay themselves.

There are three other sets of verses in the volume, and all of them
were originally written to old wood-cuts, but have since been
re-illustrated by Mr. André, and published by the S.P.C.K.

"A Sweet Little Dear" is the personification of a selfish girl, and
"Master Fritz" of an equally selfish boy; but his sister Katerina is
delicious by contrast, as she gives heed to his schemes--

    And if you make nice feasts every day for me and Nickel, and never
         keep us waiting for our food,
    And always do everything I want, and attend to everything I say, I'm
         sure I shall almost always be good.
    And if I'm naughty now and then, it'll most likely be your fault: and
         if it isn't, you mustn't mind;
    For even if I seem to be cross, you ought to know that I meant to be

An old-fashioned fairy tale, "The Magician turned Mischief-maker,"
came out in 1877; and a short domestic tale called "A Bad Habit"; but
Julie was unable to supply any long contributions this year, as in
April her seven-years home at Aldershot was broken up in consequence
of Major Ewing being ordered to Manchester, and her time was occupied
by the labour and process of removing.

She took down the motto which she had hung over her hearth to temper
her joy in the comfort thereof,--_Ut migraturus habita_,--and moved
the scroll on to her next resting-place. No one knew better than she
the depth of Mrs. Hemans' definition,--"What is home,--and where,--but
_with the loving_--" and most truly can it be said that wherever Julie
went she carried "Home" with her; freedom, generosity, and loving
welcome were always to be found in her house,--even if upholstery and
carpets ran short! It was a joke amongst some of her friends that
though rose-coloured curtains and bevelled-edged looking-glasses could
be counted upon in their bed-rooms, such commonplace necessities as
soap might be forgotten, and the glasses be fastened in artistic
corners of the rooms, rather than in such lights as were best adapted
for shaving by!

Julie followed the course of the new lines in which her lot was cast
most cheerfully, but the "mighty heart" could not really support the
"little body"; and the fatigue of packing, combined with the effects
of the relaxing climate of Bowdon, near Manchester, where she went to
live, acted sadly upon her constitution. She was able, however, after
settling in the North, to pay more frequent visits to Ecclesfield than
before; and the next work that she did for _Aunt Judy's Magazine_
bears evidences of the renewal of Yorkshire associations.

[Illustration: SOUTH CAMP, ALDERSHOT.]

This story, "We and the World," was specially intended for boys, and
the "law of contrast" in it was meant to be drawn between the career
which Cripple Charlie spent at home, and those of the three lads who
went out into "the world" together. Then, too, she wished, as I
mentioned before, to contrast the national types of character in the
English, Scotch, and Irish heroes, and to show the good contained in
each of them. But the tale seemed to have been begun under an unlucky
star. The first half, which came out in the first six numbers of the
Magazine for 1878, is excellent as a matter of art; and as pictures of
North-country life and scenery nothing can be better than Walnut-tree
Farm and Academy, the Miser's Funeral, and the Bee-master's Visit to
his Hives on the Moors, combined with attendance at Church on a hot
Sunday afternoon in August (it need scarcely be said that the church
is a real one). But, good though all this is, it is too long and "out
of proportion," when one reflects how much of the plot was left to be
unravelled in the other half of the tale. "The World" could not
properly be squeezed into a space only equal in size to that which had
been devoted to "Home." If Julie had been in better health, she would
have foreseen the dilemma into which she was falling, but she did not,
and in the autumn of 1878 she had to lay the tale aside, for Major
Ewing was sent to be stationed at York. "We" was put by until the
following volume, but for this (1878) one she wrote two other short
contributions,--"The Yellow Fly, a Tale with a Sting in it," and

To those who do not read between the lines, "So-so" sounds (as he
felt) "very soft and pleasant," but to me the tale is in Julie's
saddest strain, because of the suspicion of hopelessness that pervades
it;--a spirit which I do not trace in any of her other writings.

     "Be sure, my child," said the widow to her little daughter, "that
     you always do just as you are told."

     "Very well, mother."

     "Or at any rate do what will do just as well," said the small
     house-dog, as he lay blinking at the fire.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "For the future, my child," said the widow, "I hope you will always
     do just as you are told, whatever So-so may say."

     "I will, mother," said little Joan. (And she did.) But the
     house-dog sat and blinked. He dared not speak, he was in disgrace.

     "I do not feel quite sure about So-so. Wild dogs often amend their
     ways far on this side of the gallows, and the Faithful sometimes
     fall, but when any one begins by being only so-so, he is very apt
     to be so-so to the end. So-so's so seldom change."

Before turning from the record of my sister's life at Manchester, I
must mention a circumstance which gave her very great pleasure there.
In the summer of 1875 she and I went up from Aldershot to see the
Exhibition of Water-Colours by the Royal Society of Painters, and she
was completely fascinated by a picture of Mr. J.D. Watson's, called "A
Gentleman of the Road." It represented a horseman at daybreak,
allowing his horse to drink from a stream, whilst he sat half-turned
in the saddle to look back at a gallows which was visible on the
horizon against the beams of rising light. The subject may sound very
sensational, but it was not that aspect of it which charmed my sister;
she found beauty as well as romance in it, and after we returned to
camp in the evening she became so restless and engrossed by what she
had seen, that she got up during the night, and planned out the
headings of a story on the picture, adding--characteristically--a
moral or "soul" to the subject by a quotation[31] from Thomas à
Kempis--_Respice finem_. "In all things _remember the end_."

[Footnote 31: Letter, March 22, 1880.]

This "mapped-out" story, I am sorry to say, remains unfinished. The
manuscript went through many vicissitudes, was inadvertently torn up
and thrown into the waste-paper basket, whence it was rescued and the
pieces carefully enclosed in an envelope ready for mending. It was
afterwards lost again for many months in a box that was sent abroad,
but the fragments have been put together and copied, as they are
interesting from the promise that lies in the few words that remain.


     The old schoolmaster sat on a tombstone, an ancient altar-shaped
     tomb which may have been reared when the yew tree above it was
     planted. Children clustered round him like bees upon a branch, and
     he held the book wide open so that, if possible, all might see into
     it at once. It was not a school-book, it was a picture book, the
     one out of which he told tales to the children on half-holidays.
     The volume was old and the text was in Latin, a language of which
     the schoolmaster had some little knowledge.

     He could read the dial motto pat,--_Via crucis via lucis_. The Way
     of the Cross is the Way of Light.

     He understood the Latin headings to the Psalms and Canticles better
     than the clerk, for he could adjust the words to their English
     equivalents. The clerk took them as they stood, _Nunc dimittis_, or
     the Song of Simeon. It was put down so in the rubric, he said, as
     plain as "Here endeth the first lesson."

     The schoolmaster made no such blunders. He could say the Lord's
     Prayer in Latin, and part of the Creed, and from his seat in church
     he could make out most of the virtues credited to the last account
     of one Roger Beaufoy, who in this life had been entitled to write
     Esquire after his name. The name kept the title after
     it--_Armiger_--though the man himself had long departed to a life
     with other distinctions. If the tablet were to be believed, he had
     been a gentle squire too. The schoolmaster was wont to murmur the
     list of his qualities over to himself:
     too, and no marvel!--_nobili genere natus_--and _tam corpore quam
     vultus præclarus_!

     It was a goodly list that the schoolmaster muttered over, and when
     it was done he would add--"His very portrait, every line, every
     word of it!" And then he would sigh.

     Old as he was, the schoolmaster was not bearing testimony to the
     truth of the inscription as regarded the man he referred to; that
     Roger Beaufoy had gone back with all his virtues and his vices to
     the Maker of Souls long before the schoolmaster could read what had
     been written of him by the maker of epitaphs. It was to the
     character of another Roger--the great-grandson of this squire--that
     the old man adapted the graceful flattery of the epitaph. It fitted
     in every fold, and yet he sighed. For in this Roger, as in that,
     the sterner virtues were lacking. They had not even been supplied
     upon the marble, though that is a charity not uncommonly granted
     to the dead. But when the genial virtues abound, the world misses
     the others so little!

[Here the sheet of paper is torn, but from the words on the part left
it is evident that there was a description of the frontispiece in the
schoolmaster's book. Apparently the subject of the picture was
allegorical, and the figures of "monstrous beasts" were interspersed
with "devices" and "scrolls with inscriptions," together with figures]

     of kneeling saints, or pilgrims treading the Via Vitæ with
     sandalled shoes and heavy staves; and between the lips of dolorous
     faces in penal fires issued the words _O Æternitas! Æternitas!_

     All these things the schoolmaster duly interpreted, but the rest of
     the story he made up out of his own head, a custom which had this
     among other advantages, that the stories were not always the same,
     which they must have been had the good man been a merely fluent

     At the schoolmaster's elbow nestled his little granddaughter. By
     herself she could not have secured so good a place, for she was
     fragile and very gentle, and most of the other children were rough
     and strong. "First come first served" was the motto of their play.
     First-come was served first because he helped himself, and the only
     exception to the rule was when Second-come happened to be stronger
     and took his place.

This fragment at any rate serves to show what a strong impression the
picture had made upon Julie's mind, so it will readily be imagined how
intensely delighted she was when she unexpectedly made the
acquaintance, at Manchester, of Mr. Galloway, who proved to have
bought Mr. Watson's work, and he was actually kind enough to lend the
treasure to her for a considerable time, so that she could study it
thoroughly, and make a most accurate copy of it. Mr. Galloway's
friendship, and that of some other people whom she first met at
Bowdon, were the brightest spots in Julie's existence during this

In September 1878 the Ewings removed to Fulford, near York, and, on
their arrival, Julie at once devoted herself to adorning her new home.
We were very much amused by the incredulous amazement betrayed on the
stolid face of an elderly workman, to whom it was explained that he
was required to distemper the walls of the drawing-room with a sole
colour, instead of covering them with a paper, after the manner of all
the other drawing-rooms he had ever had to do with. But he was too
polite to express his difference of taste by more than looks;--and
some days after the room was finished, with etchings duly hung on
velvet in the panels of the door,--the sole-coloured walls well
covered with pictures, whence they stood out undistracted by gold and
flowery paper patterns--the distemperer called, and asked if he might
be allowed, as a favour, to see the result of Mrs. Ewing's
arrangements. I forget if he expressed anything by words, as he stood
in the middle of the room twisting his hat in his fingers--but we had
learned to read his face, and Julie was fully satisfied with the fresh
expression of amazement mixed with admiration which she saw there.

One theory which she held strongly about the decoration of houses was,
that the contents ought to represent the associations of the inmates,
rather than the skill of their upholsterer; and for this reason she
would not have liked to limit any of her rooms to one special period,
such as Queen Anne's, unless she had possessed an old house, built at
some date to which a special kind of furniture belonged. She contrived
to make her home at York a very pretty one; but it was of short
duration, for in March 1879 Major Ewing was despatched to Malta, and
Julie had to begin to pack her _Lares_ and _Penates_ once more.

It may, perhaps, be wondered that she was allowed to spend her time
and strength on the labour of packing, which a professional worker
would have done far better,--but it is easier to see the mistakes of
others than to rectify our own! There were many difficulties to be
encountered, not the least of these being Julie's own strong will, and
bad though it was, in one sense, for her to be physically over-tired,
it was better than letting her be mentally so; and to an active brain
like hers, "change of occupation" is the only possible form of "rest."
Professional packers and road and rail cars represent money, and
Julie's skill in packing both securely and economically was
undeniably great. This is not surprising if we hold, as an old friend
does, that ladies would make far better housemaids than uneducated
women do, because they would throw their brains as well as muscles
into their work. Julie did throw her brains into everything, big or
little, that she undertook; and one of her best and dearest
friends,--whose belief in my sister's powers and "mission" as a writer
were so strong that she almost grudged even the time "wasted" on
sketching, which might have been given to penning more stories for the
age which boasts Gordon as its hero,--and who, being with Julie at her
death, could not believe till the very End came that she would be
taken, whilst so much seemed to remain for her to do here,--confessed
to me afterwards she had learned to see that Julie's habit of
expending her strength on trifles arose from an effort of nature to
balance the vigour of her mind, which was so much greater than that of
her body.

During the six months that my sister resided in York she wrote a few
contributions for _Aunt Judy's Magazine_. To the number for January
1879 she gave "Flaps," a sequel to "The Hens of Hencastle."

The latter story was not written by her, but was a free adaptation
which Colonel Yeatman-Biggs made from the German of Victor Blüthgen.
Julie had been greatly amused by the tale, but, finding that it ended
in a vague and unsatisfactory way, she could not be contented, so took
up her pen and wrote a _finale_, her chief aim being to provide a
happy ending for the old farm-dog, Flaps himself, after whom she named
her sequel. The writing is so exactly similar to that of "The Hens,"
that the two portions can scarcely be identified as belonging to
different writers. Julie used often to reproach me for indulging in
what John Wesley called "the lust of finishing," but in matters
concerning her own art she was as great an offender on this score as
any one else!

Julie gave a set of verses on "Canada Home" to the same number as
"Flaps," and to the March (1879) number she gave some other verses on
"Garden Lore." In April the second part of "We and the World" began to
appear, and a fresh character was introduced, who is one of the most
important and touching features of the tale. Biddy Macartney is a real
old Irish melody in herself, with her body tied to a coffee-barrow in
the Liverpool Docks, and her mind ever wandering in search of the son
who had run away to sea. Jack, the English hero, comes across Biddy
in the docks just before he starts as a stowaway for America, and his
stiff, crude replies to her voluble outpourings are essentially
British and boy-like:--

     "You hope Micky 'll come back, I suppose?"

     "Why wouldn't I, acushla? Sure, it was by reason o' that I got
     bothered with the washin' after me poor boy left me, from my mind
     being continually in the docks instead of with the clothes. And
     there I would be at the end of the week, with the captain's jerseys
     gone to old Miss Harding, and _his_ washing no corricter than
     _hers_, though he'd more good-nature in him over the accidents, and
     iron-moulds on the table-cloths, and pocket-handkerchers missin',
     and me ruined intirely with making them good, and no thanks for it,
     till a good-natured sowl of a foreigner that kept a pie-shop larned
     me to make the coffee, and lint me the money to buy a barra, and he
     says, 'Go as convanient to the ships as ye can, mother: it'll ease
     your mind. My own heart,' says he, laying his hand to it, 'knows
     what it is to have my body here, and the whole sowl of me far

     "Did you pay him back?" I asked. I spoke without thinking, and
     still less did I mean to be rude; but it had suddenly struck me
     that I was young and hearty, and that it would be almost a duty to
     share the contents of my leather bag with this poor old woman, if
     there were no chance of her being able to repay the generous

     "Did I pay him back?" she screamed. "Would I be the black-hearted
     thief to him that was kind to me? Sorra bit nor sup but dry bread
     and water passed me lips till he had his own again, and the heart's
     blessings of owld Biddy Macartney along with it."

     I made my peace with old Biddy as well as I could, and turned the
     conversation back to her son.

     "So you live in the docks with your coffee-barrow, mother, that you
     may be sure not to miss Micky when he comes ashore?"

     "I do, darlin'! Fourteen years all but three days! He'll be gone
     fifteen if we all live till Wednesday week."

     "_Fifteen?_ But, mother, if he were like me when he went, he can't
     be very like me now. He must be a middle-aged man. Do you think
     you'd know him?"

     This question was more unfortunate than the other, and produced
     such howling and weeping, and beating of Biddy's knees as she
     rocked herself among the beans, that I should have thought every
     soul in the docks would have crowded round us. But no one took any
     notice, and by degrees I calmed her, chiefly by the
     assertion--"He'll know you, mother, anyhow."

     "He will so, GOD bless him!" said she. "And haven't I gone
     over it all in me own mind, often and often, when I'd see the
     vessels feelin' their way home through the darkness, and the coffee
     staymin' enough to cheer your heart wid the smell of it, and the
     least taste in life of something betther in the stone bottle under
     me petticoats. And then the big ship would be coming in with her
     lights at the head of her, and myself would be sitting alone with
     me patience, GOD helping me, and one and another strange
     face going by. And then he comes along, cold maybe, and smells the
     coffee. 'Bedad, but that's a fine smell with it,' says he, for
     Micky was mighty particular in his aitin' and drinkin'. 'I'll take
     a dhrop of that,' says he, not noticing me particular, and if ever
     I'd the saycret of a good cup he gets it, me consayling me face.
     'What will it be?' says he, setting down the mug. 'What would it
     be, Micky, from your mother?' says I, and I lifts me head. Arrah,
     but then there's the heart's delight between us. 'Mother!' says he.
     'Micky!' says I. And he lifts his foot and kicks over the barra,
     and dances me round in his arms. 'Ochone!' says the spictators;
     'there's the fine coffee that's running into the dock.' 'Let it
     run,' says I, in the joy of me heart, 'and you after it, and the
     barra on the top of ye, now Micky me son's come home!'"

     "Wonderfully jolly!" said I. "And it must be pleasant even to think
     of it."

There is another new character in the second part of "We," who is also
a fine picture:--Alister the blue-eyed Scotch lad, with his respect
for "book-learning," and his powers of self-denial and endurance; but
Julie certainly had a weakness for the Irish nation, and the tender
grace with which she touches Dennis O'Moore and Biddy shines
conspicuously throughout the story. In one scene, however, I think she
brings up her Scotch hero neck-and-neck, if not ahead, of her
favourite Irishman.

This is in Chapter VII., where an entertainment is being held on board
ship, and Dennis and Alister are called upon in turn to amuse the
company with a song. Dennis gets through his ordeal well; he has a
beautiful voice, which makes him independent of the accompaniment of a
fiddle (the only musical instrument on board), and Julie describes his
_simpatico_ rendering of "Bendemeer's Stream" from the way in which
she loved to hear one of our brothers sing it. He had learned it by
ear on board ship from a fellow-passenger, and she was never tired of
listening to the melody. When this same brother came to visit her
whilst she was ill at Bath, and sang to her as she lay in
bed,--"Bendemeer's Stream" was the one strain she asked for, and the
last she heard.

Dennis O'Moore's performance met with warm applause, and then the
boatswain, who had a grudge against Alister, because the Scotch
Captain treated his countryman with leniency, taunted the shy and
taciturn lad to "contribute to the general entertainment."

     I was very sorry for Alister, and so was Dennis, I was sure, for he
     did his best to encourage him.

     "Sing 'GOD Save the Queen,' and I'll keep well after ye
     with the fiddle," he suggested. But Alister shook his head. "I know
     one or two Scotch tunes," Dennis added, and he began to sketch out
     an air or two with his fingers on the strings.

     Presently Alister stopped him. "Yon's the Land o' the Leal?"

     "It is," said Dennis.

     "Play it a bit quicker, man, and I'll try 'Scots, wha hae.'"

     Dennis quickened at once, and Alister stood forward. He neither
     fidgeted nor complained of feeling shy, but, as my eyes (I was
     squatted cross-legged on the deck) were at the level of his knees,
     I could see them shaking, and pitied him none the less that I was
     doubtful as to what might not be before _me_. Dennis had to make
     two or three false starts before poor Alister could get a note out
     of his throat, but when he had fairly broken the ice with the word
     "Scots!" he faltered no more. The boatswain was cheated a second
     time of his malice. Alister could not sing in the least like
     Dennis, but he had a strong manly voice, and it had a ring that
     stirred one's blood, as he clenched his hands and rolled his R's to
     the rugged appeal--

         Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
         Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
         Welcome to your gory bed,
            Or to victory!

     Applause didn't seem to steady his legs in the least, and he never
     moved his eyes from the sea, and his face only grew whiter by the
     time he drove all the blood to my heart with--

         Wha will be a traitor knave?
         Wha can fill a coward's grave?
         Wha sae base as be a slave?
             Let him turn and flee!

     "GOD forbid!" cried Dennis impetuously. "Sing that verse
     again, my boy, and give us a chance to sing with ye!" which we did
     accordingly; but, as Alister and Dennis were rolling R's like the
     rattle of musketry on the word _turn_, Alister did turn, and
     stopped suddenly short. The Captain had come up unobserved.

     "Go on!" said he, waving us back to our places.

     By this time the solo had become a chorus. Beautifully unconscious,
     for the most part, that the song was by way of stirring Scot
     against Saxon, its deeper patriotism had seized upon us all.
     Englishmen, Scotchmen, and sons of Erin, we all shouted at the top
     of our voices, Sambo's fiddle not being silent. And I maintain that
     we all felt the sentiment with our whole hearts, though I doubt if
     any but Alister and the Captain knew and sang the precise words--

    Wha for Scotland's King and law
    Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
    Freeman stand, or freeman fa'?
        Let him on wi' me!

The description of Alister's song, as well as that of Dennis, was to
some extent drawn from life, Julie having been accustomed to hear
"Scots, wha hae" rendered by a Scot with more soul than voice, who
always "moved the hearts of the people as one man" by his patriotic

My sister was greatly aided by two friends in her descriptions of the
scenery in "We," such as the vivid account of Bermuda and the
waterspout in Chapter XI., and that of the fire at Demerara in Chapter
XII., and she owed to the same kind helpers also the accuracy of her
nautical phrases and her Irish dialect. Certainly this second part of
the tale is full of interest, but I cannot help wishing that the
materials had been made into two books instead of one. There are more
than enough characters and incidents to have developed into a couple
of tales.

Julie had often said how strange it seemed to her, when people who had
a ready pen for _writing_ consulted her as to what they should _write
about_! She suffered so much from over-abundance of ideas which she
had not the physical strength to put on paper.

Even when she was very ill, and unable to use her hands at all, the
sight of a lot of good German wood-cuts, which were sent to me at
Bath, suggested so many fresh ideas to her brain, that she only longed
to be able to seize her pen and write tales to the pictures.

Before we turn finally away from the subject of her liking for Irish
people, I must mention a little adventure which happened to her at

There is one parish in York where a great number of Irish peasants
live, and many of the women used to pass Julie's windows daily, going
out to work in the fields at Fulford. She liked to watch them trudging
by, with large baskets perched picturesquely on the tops of their
heads, but in the town the "Irishers" are not viewed with equal favour
by the inhabitants. One afternoon Julie was out sketching in a field,
and came across one of these poor Irish women. My sister's mind at the
time was full of Biddy Macartney, and she could not resist the
opportunity of having a chat with this suggestive "study" for the
character. She found an excuse for addressing the old woman about some
cattle which seemed restless in the field, but quickly discovered, to
her amusement, that when she alluded to Ireland, her companion, in the
broadest brogue, stoutly denied having any connection with the
country. No doubt she thought Julie's prejudices would be similar to
those of her town neighbours, but in a short time some allusion was
inadvertently made to "me father's farm in Kerry," and the truth
leaked out. After this they became more confidential; and when Julie
admired some quaint silver rings on her companion's finger, the old
woman was most anxious to give her one, and was only restrained by
coming to the decision that she would give her a recipe for "real
Irish whisky" instead. She began with "You must take some barley and
put it in a poke--" but after this Julie heard no more, for she was
distracted by the cattle, who had advanced unpleasantly near; the
Irish woman, however, continued her instructions to the end, waving
her arms to keep the beasts off, which she so far succeeded in doing,
that Julie caught the last sentence--

"And then ye must bury it in a bog."

"Is that to give it a peaty flavour?" asked my sister, innocently.

"Oh, no, me dear!--_it's because of the excise-man_."

When they parted, the old woman's original reserve entirely gave way,
and she cried: "Good luck to ye! _and go to Ireland!_"

Julie remained in England for some months after Major Ewing started
for Malta, and as he was despatched on very short notice, and she had
to pack up their goods; also--as she was not strong--it was decided
that she should avoid going out for the hot summer weather, and wait
for the healthier autumn season. Her time, therefore, was now chiefly
spent amongst civilian friends and relations, and I want this fact to
be specially noticed, in connection with the next contributions that
she wrote for the Magazine.

In February 1879, the terrible news had come of the Isandlwana
massacre, and this was followed in June by that of the Prince
Imperial's death. My sister was, of course, deeply engrossed in the
war tidings, as many of her friends went out to South Africa--some to
return no more. In July she contributed "A Soldier's Children" to
_Aunt Judy_, and of all her child verses this must be reckoned the
best, every line from first to last breathing how strong her
sympathies still were for military men and things, though she was no
longer living amongst them:

    Our home used to be in the dear old camp, with lots of bands, and
         trumpets, and bugles, and dead-marches, and three times a day
         there was a gun,
    But now we live in View Villa, at the top of the village, and it
         isn't nearly such fun.

The humour and pathos in the lines are so closely mixed, it is very
difficult to read them aloud without tears; but they have been
recited--as Julie was much pleased to know--by the "old Father" of
the "Queer Fellows" to whom the verses were dedicated, when he was on
a troopship going abroad for active service, and they were received
with warm approbation by his hearers. He read them on other occasions,
also in public, with equal success.

The crowning military work, however, which Julie did this year was
"Jackanapes." This she wrote for the October number of _Aunt Judy_:
and here let me state that I believe if she had still been living at
Aldershot, surrounded by the atmosphere of military sympathies and
views of honour, the tale would never have been written. It was not
aimed, as some people supposed, personally at the man who was with the
Prince Imperial when he met his death. Julie would never have sat in
judgment on him, even before he, too, joined the rank of those Dead,
about whom no evil may be spoken. It was hearing this same man's
conduct discussed by civilians from the standard of honour which is
unhappily so different in civil and military circles, and more
especially the discussion of it amongst "business men," where the rule
of "each man for himself" is invariable, which drove Julie into
uttering the protest of "Jackanapes." I believe what she longed to
show forth was how the _life_ of an army--as of any other
body--depends on whether the individuality of its members is _dead_; a
paradox which may perhaps be hard to understand, save in the light of
His teaching, Who said that the saving of a man's life lay in his
readiness to lose it. The merging of selfish interests into a common
cause is what makes it strong; and it is from Satan alone we get the
axiom, "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his
life." Of "Jackanapes" itself I need not speak. It has made Julie's
name famous, and deservedly so, for it not only contains her highest
teaching, but is her best piece of literary art.

There are a few facts connected with the story which, I think, will be
interesting to some of its admirers. My sister was in London in June
1879, and then made the acquaintance of Mr. Randolph Caldecott, for
whose illustrations to Washington Irving's "Bracebridge Hall" and "Old
Christmas" she had an unbounded admiration, as well as for his Toy
Books. This introduction led us to ask him, when "Jackanapes" was
still simmering in Julie's brain, if he would supply a coloured
illustration for it. But as the tale was only written a very short
time before it appeared, and as the illustration was wanted early,
because colours take long to print, Julie could not send the story to
be read, but asked Mr. Caldecott to draw her a picture to fit one of
the scenes in it. The one she suggested was a "fair-haired boy on a
red-haired pony," having noticed the artistic effect produced by this
combination in one of her own nephews, a skilful seven-year-old rider
who was accustomed to follow the hounds.

This coloured illustration was given in _Aunt Judy's Magazine_, with
the tale, but when it was republished as a book, in 1883, the scene
was reproduced on a smaller scale in black and white only.

"Jackanapes" was much praised when it came out in the Magazine, but it
was not until it had been re-issued as a book that it became really
well known. Even then its success was within a hair's-breadth of
failing. The first copies were brought out in dull stone-coloured
paper covers, and that powerful vehicle "the Trade," unable to believe
that a jewel could be concealed in so plain a casket, refused the work
of J.H.E. and R.C. until they had stretched the paper cover on boards,
and coloured the Union Jack which adorns it! No doubt "the Trade"
understands its fickle child "the Public" better than either authors
or artists do, and knows by experience that it requires tempting with
what is pretty to look at, before it will taste. Certainly, if praise
from the public were the chief aim that writers, or any other workers,
strove after, their lives for the most part would consist of
disappointment only, so seldom is "success" granted whilst the power
to enjoy it is present. They alone whose aims are pointed above
earthly praise can stand unmoved amidst neglect or blame, filled with
that peace of a good conscience which the world can neither give nor
take away.


    I shall know by the gleam and glitter
      Of the golden chain you wear,
    By your heart's calm strength in loving,
      Of the fire they have had to bear.
    Beat on, true heart, for ever;
      Shine bright, strong golden chain;
    And bless the cleansing fire,
      And the furnace of living pain!


Towards the end of October 1879, Julie started for Malta, to join
Major Ewing, but she became so very ill whilst travelling through
France that her youngest sister, and her friend, Mrs. R.H. Jelf (from
whose house in Folkestone she had started on her journey), followed
her to Paris, and brought her back to England as soon as she could be

Julie now consulted Sir William Jenner about her health, and, seeing
the disastrous effect that travelling had upon her, he totally forbade
her to start again for several months, until she had recovered some
strength and was better able to bear fatigue. This verdict was a
heavy blow to my sister, and the next four years were ones of great
trial and discomfort to her. A constant succession of disappointed
hopes and frustrated plans, which were difficult, even for Madam
Liberality, to bear!

She hoped when her husband came home on leave at Christmas, 1879, that
she should be able to return with him, but she was still unfit to go;
and then she planned to follow later with a sister, who should help
her on the journey, and be rewarded by visiting the island home of the
Knights, but this castle also fell to the ground. Meantime Julie was
suffering great inconvenience from the fact that she had sent all her
possessions to Malta several months before, keeping only some light
luggage which she could take with her. Amongst other things from which
she was thus parted, was the last chapter of "We and the World," which
she had written (as she often did the endings of her tales) when she
was first arranging the plot. This final scene was buried in a box of
books, and could not be found when wanted, so had to be rewritten and
then my sister's ideas seem to have got into a fresh channel, for she
brought her heroes safely back to their Yorkshire home, instead of
dropping the curtain on them after a gallant rescue in a Cornish mine,
as she originally arranged. Julie hoped against hope, as time went on,
that she should become stronger, and able to follow her _Lares_ and
_Penates_, so she would not have them sent back to her, until a final
end was put to her hopes by Major Ewing being sent on from Malta to
Ceylon, and in the climate of the latter place the doctors declared it
would be impossible for her to live. The goods, therefore, were now
sent back to England, and she consoled herself under the bitter trial
of being parted from her husband, and unable to share the enjoyment of
the new and wonderful scenes with which he was surrounded, by
thankfulness for his unusual ability as a vivid and brilliant
letter-writer. She certainly practised both in days of joy and sorrow
the virtue of being _lætus sorte meâ_; which she afterwards so
powerfully taught in her "Story of a Short Life." I never knew her
fail to find happiness wherever she was placed, and good in whomsoever
she came across. Whatever her circumstances might be they always
yielded to her causes for thankfulness, and work to be done with a
ready and hopeful heart. That "lamp of zeal," about which Margery
speaks in "Six to Sixteen," was never extinguished in Julie, even
after youth and strength were no longer hers:--

     Like most other conscientious girls, we had rules and regulations
     of our own devising; private codes, generally kept in cipher for
     our own personal self-discipline, and laws common to us both for
     the employment of our time in joint duties--lessons, parish work,
     and so forth.

     I think we made rather too many rules, and that we re-made them too
     often. I make fewer now, and easier ones, and let them much more
     alone. I wonder if I really keep them better? But if not, may
     GOD, I pray Him, send me back the restless zeal, the
     hunger and thirst after righteousness, which He gives us in early
     youth! It is so easy to become more thick-skinned in conscience,
     more tolerant of evil, more hopeless of good, more careful of one's
     own comfort and one's own property, more self-satisfied in leaving
     high aims and great deeds to enthusiasts, and then to believe that
     one is growing older and wiser. And yet those high examples, those
     good works, those great triumphs over evil which single hands
     effect sometimes, we are all grateful for, when they are done,
     whatever we may have said of the doing. But we speak of saints and
     enthusiasts for good, as if some special gifts were made to them in
     middle age which are withheld from other men. Is it not rather that
     some few souls keep alive the lamp of zeal and high desire which
     GOD lights for most of us while life is young?

In spite, however, of my sister's contentment with her lot, and the
kindness and hospitality shown to her at this time by relations and
friends, her position was far from comfortable; and Madam Liberality's
hospitable soul was sorely tried by having no home to which she could
welcome her friends, whilst her fragile body battled against
constantly moving from one house to another when she was often unfit
to do anything except keep quiet and at rest. She was not able to
write much, and during 1880 only contributed two poems to _Aunt Judy's
Magazine_, "Grandmother's Spring," and "Touch Him if You Dare."

To the following volume (1881) she again was only able to give two
other poems, "Blue and Red; or the Discontented Lobster," and "The
Mill Stream"; but these are both much longer than her usual Verses for
Children--and, indeed, are better suited for older readers--though the
former was such a favourite with a three-year-old son of one of our
bishops that he used to repeat it by heart.

In November 1881, _Aunt Judy's Magazine_ passed into the hands of a
fresh publisher, and a new series was begun, with a fresh outside
cover which Mr. Caldecott designed for it. Julie was anxious to help
in starting the new series, and she wrote "Daddy Darwin's Dovecot" for
the opening number. All the scenery of this is drawn from the
neighbourhood of Ecclesfield, where she had lately been spending a
good deal of her time, and so refreshed her memory of its local
colouring. The story ranks equal to "Jackanapes" as a work of literary
art, though it is an idyll of peace instead of war, and perhaps,
therefore, appeals rather less deeply to general sympathies; but I
fully agree with a noted artist friend, who, when writing to regret my
sister's death, said, "'Jackanapes' and 'Daddy Darwin' I have never
been able to read without tears, and hope I never may." Daddy had no
actual existence, though his outward man may have been drawn from
types of a race of "old standards" which is fast dying out. The
incident of the theft and recovery of the pigeons is a true one, and
happened to a flock at the old Hall farm near our home, which also
once possessed a luxuriant garden, wherein Phoebe might have found
all the requisites for her Sunday posy. A "tea" for the workhouse
children used to be Madam Liberality's annual birthday feast; and the
spot where the gaffers sat and watched the "new graft" strolling home
across the fields was so faithfully described by Julie from her
favourite Schroggs Wood, that when Mr. Caldecott reproduced it in his
beautiful illustration, some friends who were well acquainted with the
spot, believed that he had been to Ecclesfield to paint it.

[Illustration: ECCLESFIELD HALL]

Julie's health became somewhat better in 1882, and for the Magazine
this year she wrote as a serial tale "Lætus Sorte Meâ; or, the Story
of a Short Life." This was not republished as a book until four days
before my sister's death, and it has become so well known from
appearing at this critical time that I need say very little about it.
A curious mistake, however, resulted from its being published then,
which was that most of the reviewers spoke of it as being the last
work that she wrote, and commented on the title as a singularly
appropriate one, but those who had read the tale in the Magazine were
aware that it was written three years previously, and that the second
name was put before the first, as it was feared the public would be
perplexed by a Latin title. The only part of the book that my sister
added during her illness was Leonard's fifth letter in Chapter X. This
she dictated, because she could not write. She had intended to give
Saint Martin's history when the story came out in the Magazine, but
was hindered by want of space.[32] Many people admire Leonard's story
as much as that of Jackanapes, but to me it is not quite so highly
finished from an artistic point of view. I think it suffered a little
from being written in detachments from month to month. It is, however,
almost hypercritical to point out defects, and the circumstances of
Leonard's life are so much more within the range of common experiences
than those of Jackanapes, it is probable that the lesson of the Short
Life, during which a V.C. was won by the joyful endurance of
inglorious suffering, may be more helpful to general readers than that
of the other brief career, in which Jackanapes, after "one crowded
hour of glorious life," earned his crown of victory.

[Footnote 32: Letter, Oct. 5, 1882.]

On one of Julie's last days she expressed a fear to her doctor that
she was very impatient under her pain, and he answered, "Indeed you
are not; I think you deserve a Victoria Cross for the way in which you
bear it." This reply touched her very much, for she knew the speaker
had not read Leonard's Story; and we used to hide the proof-sheets of
it, for which she was choosing head-lines to the pages, whenever her
doctors came into the room, fearing that they would disapprove of her
doing any mental work.

In the volume of _Aunt Judy_ for 1883 "A Happy Family" appeared, but
this had been originally written for an American Magazine, in which a
prize was offered for a tale not exceeding nine hundred words in
length. Julie did not gain the prize, and her story was rather spoiled
by having to be too closely condensed.

She also wrote three poems for _Aunt Judy_ in 1883, "The Poet and the
Brook," "Mother's Birthday Review," and "Convalescence." The last one
and the tale of "Sunflowers and a Rushlight" (which came out in
November 1883) bear some traces of the deep sympathy she had learned
for ill health through her own sufferings of the last few years; the
same may, to some extent, be said of "The Story of a Short Life."
"Mother's Birthday Review" does not come under this heading, though I
well remember that part, if not the whole of it, was written whilst
Julie lay in bed; and I was despatched by her on messages in various
directions to ascertain what really became of Hampstead Heath donkeys
during the winter, and the name of the flower that clothes some parts
of the Heath with a sheet of white in summer.

In May 1883, Major Ewing returned home from Ceylon, and was stationed
at Taunton. This change brought back much comfort and happiness into
my sister's life. She once more had a pretty home of her own, and not
only a home but a garden. When the Ewings took their house, and named
it Villa _Ponente_ from its aspect towards the setting sun, the
"garden" was a potato patch, with soil chiefly composed of refuse left
by the house-builders; but my sister soon began to accumulate flowers
in the borders, especially herbaceous ones that were given to her by
friends, or bought by her in the market. Then in 1884 she wrote
"Mary's Meadow," as a serial for _Aunt Judy's Magazine_, and the story
was so popular that it led to the establishment of a "Parkinson
Society for lovers of hardy flowers." Miss Alice Sargant was the
founder and secretary of this, and to her my sister owed much of the
enjoyment of her life at Taunton, for the Society produced many
friends by correspondence, with whom she exchanged plants and books,
and the "potato patch" quickly turned into a well-stocked

Perhaps the friend who did most of all to beautify it was the Rev, J.
Going, who not only gave my sister many roses, but planted them round
the walls of her house himself, and pruned them afterwards, calling
himself her "head gardener." She did not live long enough to see the
roses sufficiently established to flower thoroughly, but she enjoyed
them by anticipation, and they served to keep her grave bright during
the summer that followed her death.

Next to roses I think the flowers that Julie had most of were primulas
of various kinds, owing to the interest that was aroused in them by
the incident in "Mary's Meadow" of Christopher finding a Hose-in-hose
cowslip growing wild in the said "meadow." My sister was specially
proud of a Hose-in-hose cowslip which was sent to her by a little boy
in Ireland, who had determined one day with his brothers and sisters,
that they would set out and found an "Earthly Paradise" of their own,
and he began by actually finding a Hose-in-hose, which he named it
after "Christopher," and sent a bit of the root to Mrs. Ewing.

The last literary work that she did was again on the subject of
flowers. She began a series of "Letters from a Little Garden" in the
number of _Aunt Judy_ for November 1884, and these were continued
until February 1885. The Letter for March was left unfinished, though
it seemed, when boxes of flowers arrived day by day during Julie's
illness from distant friends, as if they must almost have intuitively
known the purport of the opening injunction in her unpublished
epistle, enjoining liberality in the practice of cutting flowers for
decorative purposes! Her room for three months was kept so
continuously bright by the presence of these creations of GOD
which she loved so well:--


     "A garden of hardy flowers is pre-eminently a garden for cut
     flowers. You must carefully count this among its merits, because if
     a constant and undimmed blaze outside were the one virtue of a
     flower-garden, upholders of the bedding-out system would now and
     then have the advantage of us. For my own part I am prepared to say
     that I want my flowers quite as much for the house as the garden,
     and so I suspect do most women." The gardener's point of view is
     not quite the same.

     "Speaking of women, and recalling Mr. Charles Warner's quaint idea
     of all his 'Polly' was good for on the scene of his conflicts with
     Nature, the 'striped bug' and the weed 'Pusley,'--namely, to sit on
     an inverted flower-pot and 'consult' him whilst he was hoeing,--it
     is interesting to notice that some generations ago the garden was
     very emphatically included within woman's 'proper sphere,' which
     was not, in those days, a wide one."

The Letters were the last things that my sister wrote; but some brief
papers which she contributed to _The Child's Pictorial Magazine_ were
not published until after her death. In the May number "Tiny's Tricks
and Toby's Tricks" came out, and in the numbers for June, July, and
August 1885, there were three "Hoots" from "The Owl in the Ivy Bush;
or the Children's Bird of Wisdom." They are in the form of quaint
letters of advice, and my sister adopted the _Spectator's_ method of
writing as an eye-witness in the first person, so far as was possible
in addressing a very youthful class of readers. She had a strong
admiration for many of both Steele and Addison's papers.

       *       *       *       *       *

The list that I promised to give of Julie's published stories is now
completed; and, if her works are to be valued by their length, it may
justly be said that she has not left a vast amount of matter behind
her, but I think that those who study her writings carefully, will
feel that some of their greatest worth lies in the wonderful
condensation and high finish that they display. No reviewer has made a
more apt comparison than the American one in _Every other Saturday_,
who spoke of "Jackanapes" as "an exquisite bit of finished work--a
Meissonier, in its way."

To other readers the chief value of the books will be in the high
purpose of their teaching, and the consciousness that Julie held her
talent as a direct gift from GOD, and never used it otherwise
than to His glory. She has penned nothing for which she need fear
reproach from her favourite old proverb, "A wicked book is all the
wickeder because it can never repent." It is difficult for those who
admire her writings to help regretting that her life was cut off
before she had accomplished more, but to still such regrets we cannot
do better than realize (as a kind friend remarked) "how much she has
been able to do, rather than what she has left undone." The work which
she did, in spite of her physical fragility, far exceeds what the
majority of us perform with stronger bodies and longer lives. This
reflection has comforted me, though I perhaps know more than others
how many subjects she had intended to write stories upon. Some people
have spoken as if her _forte_ lay in writing about soldiers only, but
her success in this line was really due to her having spent much time
among them. I am sure her imagination and sympathy were so strong,
that whatever class of men she was mixed with, she could not help
throwing herself into their interests, and weaving romances about
them. Whether such romances ever got on to paper was a matter
dependent on outward circumstances and the state of her health.

One of the unwritten stories which I most regret is "Grim the
Collier"; this was to have been a romance of the Black Country of
coal-mines, in which she was born, and the title was chosen from the
description of a flower in a copy of Gerarde's _Herbal_, given to her
by Miss Sargant:--

     _Hieracium hortense latifolium, sine Pilosella maior_, Golden
     Mouseeare, or Grim the Colliar. The floures grow at the top as it
     were in an vmbel, and are of the bignesse of the ordinary
     Mouseeare, and of an orenge colour. The seeds are round, and
     blackish, and are carried away with the downe by the wind. The
     stalks and cups of the flours are all set thicke with a blackish
     downe, or hairinesse, as it were the dust of coles; whence the
     women who keepe it in gardens for novelties sake, have named it
     Grim the Colliar.

I wish, too, that Julie could have written about sailors, as well as
soldiers, in the tale of "Little Mothers' Meetings," which had been
suggested to her mind by visits to Liverpool. The sight of a baby
patient in the Children's Hospital there, who had been paralyzed and
made speechless by fright, but who took so strange a fancy to my
sister's sympathetic face that he held her hand and could scarcely be
induced to release it, had affected her deeply. So did a visit that
she paid one Sunday to the Seamen's Orphanage, where she heard the
voices of hundreds of fatherless children ascending with one accord in
the words, "I will arise and go to my Father," and realized the Love
that watched over them. These scenes were both to have been woven into
the tale, and the "Little Mothers" were boy nurses of baby brothers
and sisters.

Another phase of sailor life on which Julie hoped to write was the
"Guild of Merchant Adventurers of Bristol." She had visited their
quaint Hall, and collected a good deal of historical information and
local colouring for the tale, and its lesson would have been one on
mercantile honour.

I hope I have kept my original promise, that whilst I was making a
list of Julie's writings, I would also supply an outline biography of
her life; but now, if the Children wish to learn something of her at
its End, they shall be told in her own words:--

     Madam Liberality grew up into much the same sort of person that she
     was when a child. She always had been what is termed old-fashioned,
     and the older she grew the better her old-fashionedness became her,
     so that at last her friends would say to her, "Ah, if we all wore
     as well as you do, my dear! You've hardly changed at all since we
     remember you in short petticoats." So far as she did change, the
     change was for the better. (It is to be hoped we do improve a
     little as we get older.) She was still liberal and economical. She
     still planned and hoped indefatigably. She was still tender-hearted
     in the sense in which Gray speaks--

    "To each his sufferings: all are men
      Condemned alike to groan,
    The tender for another's pain,
      The unfeeling for his own."

     She still had a good deal of ill-health and ill-luck, and a good
     deal of pleasure in spite of both. She was happy in the happiness
     of others, and pleased by their praise. But she was less
     head-strong and opinionated in her plans, and less fretful when
     they failed. It is possible, after one has cut one's wisdom-teeth,
     to cure oneself even of a good deal of vanity, and to learn to play
     the second fiddle very gracefully; and Madam Liberality did not
     resist the lessons of life.

     GOD teaches us wisdom in divers ways. Why He suffers some
     people to have so many troubles, and so little of what we call
     pleasure in this world, we cannot in this world know. The heaviest
     blows often fall on the weakest shoulders, and how these endure and
     bear up under them is another of the things which GOD
     knows better than we.

Julie did absolutely remain "the same" during the three months of heavy
suffering which, in GOD'S mysterious love, preceded her death. Perhaps it
is well for us all to know that she found, as others do, the intervals of
exhausted relief granted between attacks of pain were not times in which
(had it been needed) she could have changed her whole character, and, what
is called, "prepare to die." Our days of health and strength are the ones
in which this preparation must be made, but for those who live, as she did,
with their whole talents dedicated to GOD'S service, death is only the gate
of life--the path from joyful work in this world to greater capacities and
opportunities for it in the other.

I trust that what I have said about Julie's religious life will not
lead children to imagine that she was gloomy, and unable to enjoy her
existence on earth, for this was not the case. No one appreciated and
rejoiced in the pleasures and beauties of the world more thoroughly
than she did: no one could be a wittier and brighter companion than
she always was.

Early in February 1885, she was found to be suffering from a species
of blood-poisoning, and as no cause for this could then be discovered,
it was thought that change of air might do her good, and she was
taken from her home at Taunton, to lodgings at Bath. She had been
three weeks in bed before she started, and was obliged to return to it
two days after she arrived, and there to remain on her back; but this
uncomfortable position did not alter her love for flowers and animals.

The first of these tastes was abundantly gratified, as I mentioned
before, by the quantities of blossoms which were sent her from
friends; as well as by the weekly nosegay which came from her own
Little Garden, and made her realize that the year was advancing from
winter to spring, when crocuses and daffodils were succeeded by
primroses and anemones.

Of living creatures she saw fewer. The only object she could see
through her window was a high wall covered with ivy, in which a lot of
sparrows and starlings were building their nests. As the sunlight fell
on the leaves, and the little birds popped in and out, Julie enjoyed
watching them at work, and declared the wall looked like a fine
Japanese picture. She made us keep bread-crumbs on the window-sill,
together with bits of cotton wool and hair, so that the birds might
come and fetch supplies of food, and materials for their nests.

Her appreciation of fun, too, remained keen as ever, and, strange as
it may seem, one of the very few books which she liked to have read
aloud was Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"; the dry
humour of it--the natural way in which everything is told from a boy's
point of view--and the vivid and beautiful descriptions of river
scenery--all charmed her. One of Twain's shorter tales, "Aurelia's
unfortunate Young Man," was also read to her, and made her laugh so
much, when she was nearly as helpless as the "young man" himself, that
we had to desist for fear of doing her harm. Most truly may it be said
that between each paroxysm of pain "her little white face and
undaunted spirit bobbed up ... as ready and hopeful as ever." She was
seldom able, however, to concentrate her attention on solid works, and
for her religious exercises chiefly relied on what was stored in her

This faculty was always a strong one. She was catechized in church
with the village children when only four years old, and when six,
could repeat many poems from an old collection called "The Diadem,"
such as Mrs. Hemans' "Cross in the Wilderness," and Dale's "Christian
Virgin to her Apostate Lover"; but she reminded me one day during her
illness of how little she understood what she was saying in the days
when she fluently recited such lines to her nursery audience!

She liked to repeat the alternate verses of the Psalms, when the
others were read to her; and to the good things laid up in her mind
she owed much of the consolation that strengthened her in hours of
trial. After one night of great suffering, in which she had been
repeating George Herbert's poem, "The Pulley," she said that the last
verse had helped her to realize what the hidden good might be which
underlaid her pain--

    Let him be rich and weary; that, at least,
    If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
            May toss him to My breast.

During the earlier part of her illness, when every one expected that
she would recover, she found it difficult to submit to the
unaccountable sufferings which her highly-strung temperament felt so
keenly; but after this special night of physical and mental darkness,
it seemed as if light had broken upon her through the clouds, for she
said she had, as it were, looked her pain and weariness in the face,
and seen they were sent for some purpose--and now that she had done
so, we should find that she would be "more patient than before." We
were told to take a sheet of paper, and write out a calendar for a
week with the text above, "In patience possess ye your souls." Then as
each day went by we were to strike it through with a pencil; this we
did, hoping that the passing days were leading her nearer to recovery,
and not knowing that each was in reality "a day's march nearer home."

For the text of another week she had "Be strong and of a good
courage," as the words had been said by a kind friend to cheer her
just before undergoing the trial of an operation. Later still, when
nights of suffering were added to days of pain, she chose--"The day is
Thine, the night also is Thine."

Of what may be termed external spiritual privileges she did not have
many, but she derived much comfort from an unexpected visitor. During
nine years previously she had known the Rev. Edward Thring as a
correspondent, but they had not met face to face, though they had
tried on several occasions to do so. Now, when their chances of
meeting were nearly gone, he came and gave great consolation by his
unravelling of the mystery of suffering, and its sanctifying power; as
also by his interpretation that the life which we are meant to lead
under the dispensation of the Spirit who has been given for our
guidance into Truth, is one which does not take us out of the world,
but keeps us from its evil, enabling us to lead a heavenly existence
on earth, and so to span over the chasm which divides us from heaven.

Perhaps some of us may wonder that Julie should need lessons of
encouragement and comfort who was so apt a teacher herself; but
however ready she may always have been to hope for others, she was
thoroughly humble-minded about herself. On one day near the end, when
she had received some letter of warm praise about her writings, a
friend said in joke, "I wonder your head is not turned by such
things"; and Julie replied: "I don't think praise really hurts me,
because, when I read my own writings over again they often seem to me
such 'bosh'; and then, too, you know I lead such a useless life, and
there is so little I _can_ do, it is a great pleasure to know I may
have done _some_ good."

It pleased her to get a letter from Sir Evelyn Wood, written from the
Soudan, telling how he had cried over _Lætus_; and she was almost more
gratified to get an anonymous expression from "One of the Oldest
Natives of the Town of Aldershot" of his "warm and grateful sense of
the charm of her delightful references to a district much loved of its
children, and the emotion he felt in recognizing his birthplace so
tenderly alluded to." Julie certainly set no value on her own actual
MSS., for she almost invariably used them up when they were returned
from the printers, by writing on the empty sides, and destroying them
after they had thus done double duty. She was quite amused by a
relation who begged for the sheets of "Jackanapes," and so rescued
them from the flames!

On the 11th of May an increase of suffering made it necessary that my
sister should undergo another operation, as the one chance of
prolonging her life. This ordeal she faced with undaunted courage,
thanking God that she was able to take chloroform easily, and only
praying He would end her sufferings speedily, as He thought best,
since she feared her physical ability to bear them patiently was
nearly worn out.

Her prayer was answered, when two days later, free from pain, she
entered into rest. On the 16th of May she was buried in her parish
churchyard of Trull, near Taunton, in a grave literally lined with
moss and flowers;--so many floral wreaths and crosses were sent from
all parts of England, that when the grave was filled up they entirely
covered it, not a speck of soil could be seen; her first sleep in
mother earth was beneath a coverlet of fragrant white blossoms. No
resting-place than this could be more fitting for her. The church is
deeply interesting from its antiquity, and its fine oak-screen and
seats, said to be carved by monks of Glastonbury, whilst the
churchyard is an idyllically peaceful one, containing several
yew-trees; under one of these, which over-shadows Julie's grave, the
remains of the parish stocks are to be seen--a quaint mixture of
objects, that recalls some of her own close blendings of humour and
pathos into one scene. Here, "for a space, the tired body lies with
feet towards the dawn," but I must hope and believe that the active
soul, now it is delivered from the burden of the flesh, has realized
that Gordon's anticipations were right when he wrote: "The future
world must be much more amusing, more enticing, more to be desired,
than this world,--putting aside its absence of sorrow and sin. The
future world has been somehow painted to our minds as a place of
continuous praise, and, though we may not say it, yet we cannot help
feeling that, if thus, it would prove monotonous. It cannot be thus.
It must be a life of activity, for happiness is dependent on activity:
death is cessation of movement; life is all movement."

If Archbishop Trench, too, was right in saying;

    The tasks, the joys of earth, the same in heaven will be;
    Only the little brook has widen'd to a sea,

have we not cause to trust that Julie still ministers to the good and
happiness of the young and old whom she served so well whilst she was
seen amongst them? Let her, at any rate, be to us one of those who
shine as the stars to lead us unto God:

    God's saints are shining lights: who stays
      Here long must passe
    O'er dark hills, swift streames, and steep ways
      As smooth as glasse;
    But these all night,
      Like Candles, shed
    Their beams, and light
      Us into bed.

    They are, indeed, our pillar-fires,
      Seen as we go;
    They are that Citie's shining spires
      We travel to.
    A sword-like gleame
      Kept man for sin--
    First _out_, this beame
      Will guide him _In_.

[Illustration: Memorial.]

"If we still love those we lose, can we altogether lose those we

"_The Newcomes_," Chap. vii.

(_The last entry in J.H.E.'s Commonplace Book._)


|A Bit of Green     |_Monthly Packet_,       |"Melchior's Dream, |Bell & Sons,|
|                   |July, 1861              | and other Tales"  |   1862     |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Blackbird's    |--August, 1861          |       "           |    "       |
|  Nest             |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Melchior's Dream   |--December, 1861        |       "           |    "       |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Friedrich's Ballad |        ----            |       "           |    "       |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Viscount's     |        ----            |       "           |    "       |
|  Friend           |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Mystery of the |_London Society_,       |"Miscellanea,"     | S.P.C.K.   |
|  Bloody Hand      |January and February,   |vol. xvii.         |            |
|                   |1865                    |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Yew Lane Ghosts|_Monthly Packet_,       |"Melchior's Dream, |Bell & Sons,|
|                   | June, 1865             |and  other Tales"  |   1885.    |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Brownies       |_Monthly Packet_,       |"The Brownies,     |    "       |
|                   |1865                    |and other Tales"   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Mrs. Overtheway's  |                        |                   |            |
|  Remembrances--   |                        |                   |            |
|       Ida         |_Aunt Judy's            |"Mrs. Overtheway's |    "       |
|                   |Magazine_,May, 1866     |Remembrances"      |            |
|       Mrs. Moss   |--June and July, 1866   |       "           |    "       |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Promise        |--July, 1866            |"Verses for        |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |                        |Children" vol. ix. |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Burial of the  |--September, 1866     { |"Songs for Music,  |H. King & Co|
|  Linnet           |                      { |by Four Friends"   |            |
|                   |                      { |"Papa Poodle,      |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |                      { |and other Pets"    |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Christmas Wishes   |--December, 1866        |"Verses for        |    "       |
|                   |                        |Children" vol. ix. |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Mrs. Overtheway's  |                        |                   |            |
|  Remembrances--   |                        |                   |            |
|        The Snoring|--December, 1866; Jan.  |"Mrs. Overtheway's |Bell & Sons.|
|          Ghosts   |  and February, 1867    | Remembrances"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|An Idyll of the    |--September, 1867       |"The Brownies,     |     "      |
|  Wood             |                        |and other Tales"   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Three Christmas    |--December, 1867        |        "          |     "      |
|  Trees            |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Mrs. Overtheway's  |                        |                   |            |
|  Remembrances--   |                        |                   |            |
|        Reka Dom   |--June, July, August,   |"Mrs. Overtheway's |     "      |
|                   |September, and Oct. 1868|Remembrances"      |            |
|        Kerguelen's|--October, 1868         |       "           |     "      |
|          Land     |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Land of Lost   |--March and April, 1869 |"The Brownies,     |Bell & Sons.|
|  Toys             |                        | and other Tales"  |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Kind William and   |--November, 1869        |"Old-fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
| the Water Sprite  |                        | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Christmas Crackers |--December, 1869;       |"The Brownies,     |Bell & Sons.|
|                   | Jan. 1870              | and other Tales"  |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Amelia and the     |--February and March,   |         "         |     "      |
| Dwarfs            |  1870                  |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Cobbler and    |--February, 1870        |"Old-fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
| the Ghosts        |                        | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Nix in         |--April, 1870           |         "         |     "      |
| Mischief          |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Benjy in           |--May and June, 1870    |"Lob Lie-by-the-   |Bell & Sons.|
| Beastland         |                        | Fire and other    |            |
|                   |                        | Tales"            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Hillman and    |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"Old-Fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
| the Housewife     |  May, 1870             | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Neck           |--June, 1870            |         "         |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Under the Sun      |--July, 1870            |       ----        |    ----    |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The First Wife's   |--August, 1870          |"Old-fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
| Wedding Ring      |                        | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Magic Jar      |--September, 1870       |         "         |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Snap Dragons       |_Monthly Packet_,       |"Snapdragons"      |     "      |
|                   | Christmas Number,      |                   |            |
|                   | 1870                   |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Timothy's Shoes    |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"Lob Lie-by-the-   |Bell & Sons.|
|                   |  November, December,   | Fire, and other   |            |
|                   |  1870; January, 1871   | Tales"            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Flat Iron for    |--November, 1870, to    |"A Flat Iron       |     "      |
| a Farthing        |  October, 1871         | for a Farthing"   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Widow and      |--February, 1871        |"Old-fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
| the Strangers     |                        | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Laird and      |--April, 1871           |         "         |     "      |
| the Man of Peace  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Blind Hermit   |_Monthly Packet_,       |"Dandelion Clocks" |     "      |
| and the Trinity   |  May, 1871             |                   |            |
| Flower            |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Ogre Courting  |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"Old-fashioned     |     "      |
|                   | June, 1871             | Fairy Tales"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Six Little     |--August, 1871          |       ----        |    ----    |
| Girls and the     |                        |                   |            |
| Five Little Pigs  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Little Master  |--September, 1871       |"Papa Poodle, and  |S.P.C.K.    |
| to his Big Dog    |                        |  other Pets"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Peace Egg      |--December, 1871        |"Lob Lie-by-the-   |Bell & Sons.|
|                   |                        | Fire, and other   |            |
|                   |                        | Tales"            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Six to Sixteen     |--January to October.   |"Six to Sixteen"   |     "      |
|                   | 1872                   |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Murdoch's Rath     |--February, 1872        |"Old-fashioned     |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |                        |  Fairy Tales"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Magician's     |--March, 1872           |       "           |    "       |
|  Gifts            |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Knave and Fool     |--June, 1872            |       "           |    "       |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Miller's Thumb |--November, 1872 to     |"Jan of the        |Bell & Sons.|
|                   |  October, 1873         | Windmill. A Story |            |
|                   |                        | of the Plains"    |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Ran Away to Sea    |--November, 1872        |"Songs for Music,  |King & Co.  |
|                   |                        |  by Four Friends" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Among the Merrows  |--November, 1872        |"Brothers of Pity, |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Willow Man     |--December, 1872        |"Tongues in Trees" |    "       |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Fiddler in     |--January, 1873         |"Old-fashioned     |    "       |
|  the Fairy Ring   |                        |  Fairy Tales"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Friend in        |--January, 1873         |"Verses for        |    "       |
|  the Garden       |                        |  Children,"       |            |
|                   |                        |  vol. ix.         |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|In Memoriam        |--November, 1873        |"Parables from     |Bell & Sons.|
|  --Margaret Gatty |                        |  Nature."         |            |
|                   |                        |(Complete edition) |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Madam Liberality   |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"A Great           |    "       |
|                   |December, 1873          |  Emergency,       |            |
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Old Father         |_Little Folks_        { |"Lob Lie-by-the-   |    "       |
|  Christmas        |                      { |  Fire, and other  |            |
|                   |                      { |  Tales, 1873      |            |
|                   |                      { |  (Illustrated by  |            |
|                   |                      { |  R. Caldecott.)   |            |
|                   |                      { |                   |            |
|Lob Lie-by-the-    |    ----              { |       "           |    "       |
|  Fire             |                      { |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Our Garden         |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"Our Garden"       |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |    March, 1874         |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Dolly's Lullaby    |--April, 1874           |"Baby, Puppy,      |    "       |
|                   |                        |  and Kitty"       |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Blue Bells     |--May, 1874             |"The Blue Bells    |    "       |
|  on the Lea       |                        |  on the Lea"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|May Day, Old Style |--May, 1874             |"Miscellanea,"     |    "       |
|  and New Style    |                        |  vol. xvii.       |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Great Emergency  |--June to October,      |"A Great Emergency,|Bell & Sons.|
|                   |  1874                  |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Dolls' Wash    |--September, 1874       |"The Dolls' Wash"  |S.P.C.K.    |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Three Little       |--October, 1874         |"Three Little      |    "       |
|  Nest-Birds       |                        |  Nest-Birds"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A very Ill-        |--December, 1874, to    |"A Great Emergency,|Bell & Sons.|
|  tempered Family  |  March, 1875           |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Songs for Music,   |                        |                   |            |
|  by Four Friends  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Ah! Would I     |                        |                   |            |
|     Could Forget  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   The Elleree. A  |                        |                   |            |
|     Song of       |                        |                   |            |
|     Second Sight  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Faded Flowers   |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Fancy Free. A   |                        |                   |            |
|     Girl's Song   |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   From Fleeting   |                        |                   |            |
|     Pleasures. A  |                        |                   |            |
|     Requiem for   |                        |                   |            |
|     One Alive     |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   How Many Years  |"Songs for Music, by    |"Verses for        |S.P.C.K     |
|     Ago?          |  Four Friends," H.     |  Children, and    |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   The Lily of     |  King & Co., 1874.     |  Songs for Music,"|            |
|     the Lake      |                        |  vol. ix.         |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Madrigal        |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Maiden with     |                        |                   |            |
|     the Gipsy     |                        |                   |            |
|     Look          |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   My Lover's      |                        |                   |            |
|     Gift          |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Other Stars     |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   The Runaway's   |                        |                   |            |
|     Return, or    |                        |                   |            |
|     Ran Away to   |                        |                   |            |
|     Sea           |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Serenade        |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Speed Well      |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Teach Me        |(From the Danish.)      |                   |            |
|   With a          |                        |                   |            |
|     Difference    |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Anemones (left  |                        |                   |            |
|     in MS.)       |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|   Autumn Leaves   |                        |                   |            |
|     (left in      |                        |                   |            |
|     MS.)          |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Cousin Peregrine's |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, |"Miscellanea," vol.|S.P.C.K.    |
|  Wonder Stories.  |                        |  xvii.            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|    The Chinese    | --March, 1875          |                   |            |
|      Jugglers     |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Waves of the       |--May, 1875             |        "          |     "      |
|  Great South Sea  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Jack of Pera       |--July, 1875            |        "          |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Little Woods       |--August, 1875          |        "          |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Good Luck is Better|--August, 1875          |"Old-fashioned     |      "     |
|   than Gold       |                        |  Fairy Tales"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Hero to his      |--October, 1875         |"Little Boys and   |      "     |
|  Hobby Horse      |                        |  Wooden Horses"   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Kyrkegrim      |--November, 1875        |"Dandelion Clocks" |      "     |
|  turned Preacher  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Hints for Private  |--November and          |"The Peace Egg,"   |      "     |
|  Theatricals      |--December, 1875;       |  vol. x.          |            |
|                   |--February, 1876        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Toots and Boots    |--January, 1876         |"Brothers of Pity, |      "     |
|                   |                        |  and other Tales  |            |
|                   |                        |  of Beasts and    |            |
|                   |                        |  Men"             |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Blind Man      |--February, 1876        |"Dandelion Clocks" |      "     |
|  and the Talking  |                        |                   |            |
|  Dog              |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |
|The Princes of     |--April, 1876           |"Miscellanea,"     | S.P.C.K.   |
|  Vegetation       |                        |  vol. xvii        |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|I Won't            |--April, 1876           |"Old-fashioned     |    "       |
|                   |                        |  Fairy Tales"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Father Hedgehog and|--June to August, 1876  |"Brothers of Pity, |    "       |
|  His Neighbours   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|House Building     |--June, 1876            |"Doll's            |    "       |
|  and Repairs      |                        |  Housekeeping"    |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|An Only Child's    |--July, 1876            |      "            |    "       |
|  Tea-Party        |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Dandelion Clocks   |--August, 1876          |"Dandelion Clocks, |    "       |
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Our Field          |--September, 1876       |"A Great Emergency,|Bell & Sons.|
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Papa Poodle        |--September, 1876       |"Papa Poodle, and  | S.P.C.K.   |
|                   |                        |  other Pets"      |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Week Spent in a  |--October, 1876         |"A Week Spent in a |Wells,      |
|  Glass Pond       |                        |  Glass Pond"      |Darton & Co.|
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Big Smith          |--October, 1876         |"Little Boys and   | S.P.C.K.   |
|                   |                        |Wooden Horses"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Magician turned|--November, 1876        |"Old-fashioned     |     "      |
| Mischief-Maker    |                        |  Fairy Tales"     |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Bad Habit        |--January, 1877         |"Melchior's Dream, |Bell & Sons,|
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |  1885.     |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Brothers of Pity   |--April, 1877           |"Brothers of Pity, | S.P.C.K.   |
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Kit's Cradle       |--April, 1877           |"Baby, Puppy, and  |     "      |
|                   |                        |  Kitty"           |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Ladders to Heaven  |--May, 1877             |"Dandelion Clocks,"|     "      |
|                   |                        |  &c.              |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Boy and Squirrel   |--June, 1877            |"Tongues in Trees" |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Master Fritz       |--August, 1877          |"Master Fritz"     |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Sweet Little     |--September, 1877       |"A Sweet Little    |     "      |
|  Dear             |                        |  Dear"            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|We and the World   |--November, 1887, to    |"We and the World" |Bell & Sons.|
|                   |  June, 1878, and       |                   |            |
|                   |  April to October,     |                   |            |
|                   |  1879                  |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Yellow Fly     |--December, 1877        |"Baby, Puppy, and  |  S.P.C.K.  |
|                   |                        |  Kitty"           |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|So-so              |--September, 1878       |"Dandelion Clocks,"|     "      |
|                   |                        |  &c.              |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Flaps              |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_  |"Brothers of Pity, |     "      |
|                   |January, 1879           |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Canada Home        |--January, 1879         |"Verses for        |     "      |
|                   |                        |  Children," &c.   |            |
|                   |                        |  vol. ix.         |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Garden Lore        |--March, 1879           |       "           |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Soldier's        |--July, 1879            |"A Soldier's       |     "      |
|  Children         |                        |  Children"        |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Jackanapes         |--October, 1879         |"Jackanapes"       |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Grandmother's      |--June, 1880            |"Grandmother's     |  S.P.C.K.  |
|  Spring           |                        |  Spring"          |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Touch Him if You   |--July, 1880            |"Touch Him if you  |     "      |
|  Dare             |                        |  Dare"            |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Mill Stream    |--August, 1881          |"The Mill Stream"  |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Blue and Red; or,  |--September, 1881       |"Blue and Red,"    |     "      |
|  the Discontented |                        |  &c.              |            |
|  Lobster          |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Daddy Darwin's     |--November, 1881        |"Daddy Darwin's    |     "      |
|  Dovecote         |                        |  Dovecote"        |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Lætus Sorte Meâ:   |--May to October, 1882  |"The Story of a    |     "      |
|  or, the Story    |                        |  Short Life"      |            |
|  of a Short Life  |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Sunflowers and a   |--November, 1882        |"Mary's Meadow."   |     "      |
|  Rushlight        |                        |  &c., vol. xvi.   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Poet and the   |--January, 1883         |"The Poet and the  |     "      |
|  Brook            |                        |  Brook"           |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Mother's Birthday  |--April, 1883           |"Mother's Birthday |     "      |
|  Review           |                        |  Review"          |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Convalescence      |--May, 1883             |"Convalescence"    |     "      |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|A Happy Family     |--September, 1883       |"Melchior's Dream, |Bell & Sons.|
|                   |                        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Mary's Meadow      |--November, 1883, to    |"Mary's Meadow,    |  S.P.C.K.  |
|                   |  March, 1884           |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Peace Egg.     |--January, 1884         |"The Peace Egg,"   |     "      |
|  A Christmas      |                        |  &c.              |            |
|  Mumming Play     |                        |                   |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Letters from a     |--November, 1884, to    |"Mary's Meadow,    |     "      |
|   Little Garden   |  February, 1885        |  and other Tales" |            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|Tiny's Tricks and  |_Child's Pictorial      |"Brothers of Pity, |     "      |
|  Toby's Tricks    |Magazine_               |  and other        |            |
|                   |May, 1885               |  Tales," vol. xii.|            |
|                   |                        |                   |            |
|The Owl in the     |--June, 1885            |        "          |      "     |
|  Ivy Bush; or,    |                        |                   |            |
|  the Children's   |                        |                   |            |
|  Bird of Wisdom   |                        |                   |            |
|    --Introduction |                        |                   |            |
|    --Owlhoot I.   |--July, 1885            |        "          |      "     |
|    --Owlhoot II.  |--August, 1885          |        "          |      "     |


|A Child's Wishes      |From the German of     |_Aunt Judy's Magazine_,   |
|                      |  R. Reinick           |    1866.                 |
|                      |                       |                          |
|War and the Dead      |From the French of     |--October, 1866.          |
|                      |  Jean Mace            |                          |
|                      |                       |                          |
|Tales of the Khoja    |From the Turkish       |--April to December, 1874.|
|                      |                       |                          |
|The Adventures of an  |Adapted from the German|--November and            |
|  of an Elf           |                       |  December, 1875.         |
|                      |                       |                          |
|The Snarling Princess |Adapted from the German|--December, 1875.         |
|                      |                       |                          |
|The Little Parsnip    |Adapted from the German|--January, 1876.          |
|  Man                 |                       |                          |



_Ecclesfield._ August 19, 1864.


It is with the greatest pleasure that I "sit down" and square my
elbows to answer one question of your letter. The one about the
Liturgical Lessons. Nothing (I find) is more difficult in this short
life than to emulate John's example--and "explain my meaning!" but I
will do my best. Beloved! In the first place I am going to do what I
hope will be more to your benefit than my credit! Send you my rough
notes. If you begin at the first page and read straight ahead to where
allusion is made to the Apocryphal Lessons, you will have my first
Course, and you will see that I was working by degrees straight
through the Morning Prayer. But then (like the Turnip Tom-toddies!) we
found that "the Inspector was coming"--and though the class was pretty
well getting up "Matins"--it knew very little about the
Prayer-book--so then I took a different tack. We left off minutiæ and
Bible references and took to a sort of general sketch of the whole
Prayer-book. For this I did not make fresh notes at the time--but when
the Inspector came and I being too ill to examine them--M. did it--I
wrote out in a hurry the questions and answers that follow the
Apocrypha point for her benefit. My dear old Eleanor--I am such a bad
hand myself--that I feel it perfectly ludicrous to attempt to help
you--but here are a few results of my limited experience which are
probably all wrong--but the best I have to offer!

Don't teach all the school.

Make up a "Liturgical Class" (make a favour of it if possible) of
mixed boys and girls.

Have none that cannot read.

Tell them to bring their Prayer-books with them on the "Liturgy Day."

If any of them say they have none--let nothing induce you to supply

Say "Well, you must look over your neighbour, but you ought to have
one for yourself--I can let you have one for _2d._, so when you go
home, 'ask Papa,' and bring me the _2d._ next time."

Never give the Prayer-book "in advance"--! (I never _pressed_ the
Prayer-books on them, or insisted on their having them. But gradually
they all wanted to have them, and I used to take them with me, and
they brought up their _2d._'s if they wanted any. The class is chiefly
composed of Dissenters, but they never have raised any objection, and
buy Prayer-books for children who never come to Church. The first
prize last time was very deservedly won by the daughter of the
Methodist Minister.)

If you know any that cannot afford them, give them in private.

Deal round the School Bibles to the Class for reference.

One's chief temptation is to attempt too much. The great art is to
make a good _skeleton_ lesson of the leading points, and fill in

_Wait_ a long time for your answers.

Repeat the question as simply as possible, and keep saying--Now
_think_--_think_. One generally gets it in time.

Lead up to your answer: thus--

_Eleanor._ "S. Augustine was a missionary Priest from--now answer all

_The whole Class._ Rome.

_Eleanor._ "Now who was S. Augustine?--All together."

The result probably will be that one or perhaps two will give the
whole answer--and then you can say--

"That's right. But I want you all to say it. Now all together. Who was
S. Augustine?"

Then you will get it from all.

If you don't mind it, the black board is often of great use. In this

[_Sketch._] X represents the black board.

Suppose you have undertaken for the day's lesson (a _long_ one!) to
begin at the question of whether we know the exact date of the first
introduction of Christianity into England and to go on to S.
Augustine's Consecration. When you first arrive take your chalk and

                  S. PAUL
                                and draw a line;
        ARLES .  .  .  .  .   314
        NICÆA .  .  .  .  .   323

Make them read everything as you write it, telling them the words till
they are familiar. Then "lead up to" the written words in your
questions and point with the stick, so that they will finish the
answer by reading it _all together_. Thus--"The Council of ---- (stick
to Aries) in the year ---- (stick to 314)."

When you are _teaching_ a thing, make them answer all together. When
you are examining what you have taught before, let those answer who

Of course my _notes_ give no idea of the way one teaches, I mean of
course one has perpetually to use familiar examples, and go back and
back--and _into_ things.

Put the more backward children _behind_ the others, and never let any
of the _front row_ answer till the back row have tried.

If they are very young or backward, perhaps before you attempt
anything like Church History, you might _familiarize_ them with the
Prayer-book services--by making them find the places in their proper
rotation--turn quickly to the Psalms for the Day. Make them find the
Lessons for the Day, for Holy-days--Collect for the week--Baptism
Service. In fact I should advise you to _begin_ so. Say for the first
Lesson you take a CHRISTMAS DAY Service--make them look out
everything in succession. Ask them what a Collect is--where the
Lessons come from--who wrote the Psalms, etc. Make them understand how
the Holy Communion is administered--suppose a Baptism--and make them
explain--the two Sacraments in the words of the Catechism. (Never mind
whether they understand it--one can't explain everything at once!)

Indeed I strongly advise you to go on this tack for some time.

Say that for the first lesson or two (the above is too advanced) you
take _the Psalms_. Ask them what Book they were taken from, etc.--make
them find them for the day, and show them where and how to find the
Proper Psalms. In succeeding lessons, if you like, you can explain
that the Psalms are translations--and why the Bible and Prayer-book
versions are different--show which are the seven Penitential--(the
three Morning and three Evening for Ash Wednesday and the 51st). Point
out the latter as used as a general confession in the Commination
Service--having been written on the occasion of David's fall. Also the
Psalms of Degrees (the most exquisite of all I think!), which were
used to be sung as the Jews came up from all parts of the land to
Jerusalem--"I was glad when they said unto me," etc.

Tell them of any Psalms authentically connected with History--and any
anecdotes or traditions that you can meet with connected with them.
How S. Augustine and his band of missionaries first encountered the
King with his choristers carrying the Cross and chanting Psalms to
those Gregorians that Gregory (birch in hand!) had taught him in Rome,
etc., etc.

I find they like stray anecdotes--and they are _pegs_ to hang things
on. (Trevor says that our Blessed Lord is supposed to have repeated
the _whole_ of the twenty-second Psalm on the Cross.) The "Hymn" sung
before they went out after the Last Supper was a Psalm. (See marginal
Bible notes.) You can do no greater kindness than give them an
appreciation and interest in that inexhaustible store of "Prayer and
Penitence and Praise"--that has put words into the mouth of the whole
Church of God from the days of David to the present time, which is
used by every Church (however else divided) in common--and rejected by
no sect however captious!

Point out what Psalms are used in the course of the services--(like
the _Venite_, etc.)

Don't be alarmed if the Psalms last you for months! you can't do
better--and you must go over and over unless your bairns are Solomons!
Make them understand that they were intended, and are adapted for

_Get up_ your lessons beforehand--but teach as familiarly and as much
with no book but the Prayer-book and Bible as you can.

Then you might take the Lessons in a similar fashion, and the
Collects, etc.

Excuse all this ramble. I have no doubt I have bored you with a great
deal of chaff--but I hardly know quite what you want to know. As to
the subject--it is a Hobby with me--so excuse rhapsodies!

I don't believe you can confer a greater kindness than to make them
well acquainted with their Prayer-books. I believe you may teach every
scrap of necessary theology from it--the Life of Jesus in the
Collects, and special services from Advent to Trinity--Practical
duties and the _morale_ of the Gospel in the twenty-five Sundays of
Trinity. Apostles--Martyrs--the Communion of Saints--and the Ministry
of Angels in the rest. As to the History of Liturgies--it is simply
the History of the Church. I believe the Prayer-book contains Prayer,
Praise, Confession, Intercession and Ejaculation fitted to every need
and occasion of all conditions of men!--with very rare if any
exceptions. I believe in _ignorance_ of the Prayer-book the poor lose
the greatest fund of instruction and consolation next to the Bible
(and it is our best Commentary on that!) that is to be got at. And
people's ignorance of it is _wonderful_! You hear complaints of the
shifting of the services--the arrangement of the Lessons--and a
precious muddle it must seem to any one who does not know--that Isaiah
is skipped in the reading of the Old Testament--that as the
Evangelical Prophet he may be read at the Advent and Nativity of
Christ--that we dip promiscuously into the Apocrypha on Saints'
Days--because those books are read "for example of life and
instruction of manners"--and not to establish doctrine, etc., etc.
Somebody has compiled a straight ahead Prayer-book, and I fancy it
will be found very useful--about the same time that we get a royal
road to learning--or that services compiled on the most comprehensive
and comprehensible system by men of the highest and devoutest
intellect for every age, class, sex, and succeeding generations of the
Church of a whole country, can be made at the same time to fit the
case of every ignoramus who won't take the trouble to do more than
lick his thumb and turn over a page!!! If people would but understand
that the shortest way to anything is to get at the first principles!!
When one humbles oneself to learn those, the arrangement of the
Liturgy becomes as beautiful and lovable a piece of machinery as that
of Nature or God's Providence almost! and is just as provocative of
ignorant complaint and sarcasm if one doesn't.

Oh! Eleanora! What _will_ you say to this sermon!!--My "lastly"
is--teach your bairns the "why" their great-great-great-(very great!)
Grandfathers put all these glorious Prayers together in their present
order--and "when they are old they will not" ... need any modern
wiseacres to help them to get blindfold from the _Venite_ to the
Proper Psalms.

Adieu, beloved. Post time almost--and another letter to write. I have
had a sort of double quinsy--but am better, thank God.

Your devoted and prosy,


The Books I have used are _Wheatley on the Common Prayer_, Hook's
_Lives of the Archbishops_, and _Church Dictionary_, and anything I
could get hold of. Get any decent book on the Psalms--compare the two
versions--read the _prefaces_, _rubrics_, etc.--above all. Have you
the Parker Society edition of Edward VI. Prayer-book?

To H.K.F.G.

_Hotel de l'Europe, Anvers._
September 22, 1865.


"Here we are again!" at the Hotel Dr. Harvey recommended. The Captain
of our boat said it was cheaper and better than S. Antoine. You must
excuse a not very lively letter, for I am still so ill from the
voyage. I can't get over it somehow at present, but shall be all right
to-morrow. We enjoyed our day in Hull immensely! you will be amused to
hear. At night we went to the Harvest Thanksgiving service at S.
Mary's. Nice service, capital sermon, and crammed congregation. The
decorations were scarlet geraniums, corn, evergreen, and grapes. The
_Alster_ wasn't to time, but they said she would sail at four, so we
slept on board. We "turned over" an awful night. R. and I wandered
over the ship, and finally settled on the saloon benches. Then,
however, the Captain came, and said he couldn't allow us to sleep
there, so we sat up, for I couldn't breathe in the berth, and at last
I think the Captain saw I really couldn't stand it, and told me to lie
down again. At six we went on deck, and it was awfully jolly going up
the Humber. At eight we got into the sea, and I didn't get my "shore
legs" again till we got into the Scheldt this morning. At about three
this morning I went on deck, and R. and I enjoyed it immensely,
splendidly starlight, and we were just off Flushing, and the lights
looked wonderful with the flat shore and a black windmill. Then the
Captain gave me tea and packed me up in the saloon, and I slept till
six, when T. came out and woke me, and we went "aloft." We were going
down the Scheldt, and R. was in fits of delight because every tree you
see is exactly like the trees in boxes of toys. Not a bit like English
trees. The flat green banks and odd little villages (of which you can
only see the _tops_ of the houses) were charming.

To M.S.G.

_Hotel de l'Europe, Antwerp._
Sunday, September 24, 1865.


We are getting on capitally, and enjoying it immensely. I hope T. got
home pretty well. I miss him dreadfully, tell him--especially
to-day--for both Churches and pictures bore R. However, I have only
taken him into one Church to-day, that of S. Jacques, where he really
was pleased to see the tomb of Rubens. I have found the whereabouts of
two other celebrated ones, and shall try to slip off without him. He
is utterly happy when he has got a cigar, "tooling" up and down the
streets, turning in at a café, or buying a peach, and doing "schneeze"
with the "Flams." He does a little French now and then with people in
the streets. I got into the Cathedral just in time to see the glorious
Descent from the Cross, and (which I admire less) the Elevation ditto
by Rubens. I must tell you this morning I went to high mass in the
Cathedral. In fact I heard two masses and a _sermon in Flemish_. It
was wonderful. A very intelligent-looking old priest in surplice and
stole, in the huge carved pulpit, preached with the most admirable
dramatic force, in a language that one can _all but_ understand. It is
so like English and German. Every now and then I could catch a word.
If you want to have an idea of the congregation, imagine the _nave_ of
York Minster (the side aisles rather filled up by altars,
etc.)--covered like a swarm of bees, with a congregation with really
rare exceptions of Flemish poor. Flam women, men, and children, and a
great many common soldiers. The women are dressed in white caps, and
all have scarves (just like funeral scarves) of fine ribbed black
silk; and, Flemish prayer-books in hand, they sit listening to the
sermon. Then it comes to an end with some invocation of something, at
which there is a scraping of chairs and everybody goes round to the
Altar. Then organ, fiddles, all sorts of instruments, and a splendid
"company" of singers--the musical Mass began.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is all wonderful, and I feel laying up a store of happiness in
going over it at home. How I wish some of you were here! I know my
letters are very dull, and I am _so_ sorry. But though I have a famous
appetite, and can walk and "sight-see" like anything, I have not got
back my _nerve_. Somehow I can't describe it, but you must excuse my
stupidity. I hope R. is happy. He says he is, and dreads it coming to
an end!!! I am very glad, for I feel a heavy weight on _him_ and _he_
feels like reposing on a floating soap-bubble! We are as jolly as
possible really, and nothing is left in me, but a rather strained
nervous feeling, which will soon be gone. You would have laughed to
see R. buying snuff to-day, and cigars. He goes in, lays his finger on
the cigars, and says--"Poor wun frank?" To which the woman
replies--"trieze," and he buys six and sneezes violently, on which she
produces snuff, fills his box, and charges a trifle, and he abuses her
roundly in English, with a polite face, to his own great enjoyment. We
mean to make the cash hold out if possible to come home in the
_Alster_. If it runs short, we shall give up Ghent and Bruges--this
place alone is worth coming for.

Your ever loving sister, J.H.G.

To H.K.F.G.

_Hotel de Vieux, Doellen, The Hague._
September 27, 1865.


This morning we had a great treat! We took an open carriage and drove
from the Hague to Scheveningen on the coast. All the way you go
through an avenue of elms, which is lovely. It is called "the Wood,"
and to the left is Sorgoliet, where the Queen mother lives, and which
was planted, the man says, by Jacob Cats. He lived there. Scheveningen
is a bare-looking shore, all sand, and bordered with sandbanks, or
Dunes. It was _fiercely_ hot, scorching, and not an atom of shade to
be had; but in spite of sun, slipping sandbank-seat, sand-fleas, and a
hornet circling round, I did make a sketch, which I hope to finish at
home. Both Regie and I bathed, and it was _delicious_--an utterly calm
sea, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The bathing machines seem to be a
Government affair. They and the towels are marked with a _stork_, and
you take a ticket and get your gown and towels from a man at a
"bureau" on the sands. I must tell you, this morning when we came
down, we found breakfasting in the _salle-à-manger_ our Dutch friend,
the bulb merchant. We had our breakfast put at his table, and had a
jolly chat. It was so pleasant! Like meeting an old friend. He has
gone, I am sorry to say, but I have made great friends with
Stephanie's father; he cannot speak a word of English, so we can only
talk in such French as I can muster; but he is very pleasant, and his
children are so nice! eight--four boys and four girls. The wife is
Dutch, and I do not think can speak French, so I do not talk to her.
After dinner the _maître d'hôtel_ asked us if we would not go to "the
Wood" (on the road to Scheveningen), and hear the military band--so we
went. I can't describe it. It was like nothing but scenes in a
theatre. Pitch dark in all the avenues, except for little lamps like
tiny tumblers fixed on to the trees, and so [_Sketch_] on to the
Pavilion, which was lighted up by chains of similar lamps like an
illumination--[_Sketch_]--and round which--seated round little green
tables--were gathered, I suppose, about two thousand people. Their
politeness to each other--the perfect good-behaviour, the quiet and
silence during the music, and the buzz and movement when it was over,
were wonderful. The music was very good. R. and I had each a tiny cup
of coffee, and a little brandy and water, for it was very cold!! Now I
have come in, and he has gone back, I think. Stephanie was there, and
lots of children. As I lay awake last night I heard the old watchman
go round. He beats two pieces of wood together and calls the hours of
the night. I saw a funeral too, this morning, and the coachman wears a
hat like this--[_Sketch_]. In the streets we have met men in black
with cocked hats. They are "Ansprekers," who go to announce a man's
death to his friends. The jewellery of the common women is marvellous;
Mr. Krelage (our Dutch friend) says they have sometimes £400 of gold
and jewels upon them!!! A common market woman I saw to-day wore a
plate of gold under her cap of this shape--[_Sketch_]. Then a white
[_Sketch_] lace cap. Then a bonnet highly-trimmed with flowers, and a
white feather and green ribbons; and on her temples filagree gold and
pearl, pins, brooches and earrings; round her neck three gold
chains--one of many little ones together clasped by a gorgeous
clasp--the next supporting a highly-elaborate gold cross--a longer one
still supporting a heart and some other device. She had rings also,
and a short common purple stuff dress which she took up when she sat
down for fear of crushing it; no shawl and a black silk apron!!

_Thursday._ We have been to the Museum. Below is the "Royal Cabinet" of
curiosities, and above are the pictures. Some of the former were _very_
interesting. The hat, doublet, etc. in which William the Silent was
murdered--the pistol, two bullets, etc., and a copy of Balthazar
Geraardt's condemnation, and his watch, on which were some beautiful
little paintings. Admiral Ruiter's sabre, armour, chain and medal;
Admiral Tromp's armour; Jacqueline of Bavaria's chair, and locks of her
hair. Also a very curious model--a large baby-house imitating a Dutch
_ménage_, intended by Peter the Great as a present to his wife. A
wonderful toy!! R. was quite at home among the "relics." Besides
historical relics, the cabinet contains the most marvellous collection
of Japanese things. It is a most choice collection. There were some such
funny things--a _fiancé_ and _fiancée_ of Japan in costume were killing!
and made-up monsters like life-sized mummies of the most hideous demons!
Besides indescribably exquisite workmanship of all sorts. The pictures
are not so charming a collection as those at Antwerp, but there are some
grand ones. Tell Mother--Paul Potter's Bull is too indescribable! His
nose, his hair, and a frog at his feet are wonderful! There is a
portrait by Rubens of his second wife that would have charmed T.; she is
_lovely_, and the picture has that _sunshiny_ beauty he will remember in
"S. Anne teaching the B.V.M." I suspect she was the model for his most
lovable faces. There is a large and wonderful Rembrandt--a splendid
collection of Wouvermans--the most charming Ruisdael I ever saw. Some
beautiful Vandykes--a Van de Velde of Scheveningen, Teniers, Weenix,
Snyders, etc. I do so wish M. could see the pictures, she would enjoy
them so, and get more out of them than I can. The collection is _free_
to the public, and the utmost good behaviour prevails. After that R.
went into the town, and I sat down to a hurried sketch on the
"Vyfeiberg," a quiet sort of promenade. But gradually the populace
collected, till I was nearly smothered. My veil blew over my face, and I
suddenly felt it seized from behind, and looking round, found that a
young baker in white had laid hold of it, but only to fasten it out of
my way, as he began volubly to explain in Dutch! I couldn't speak, so
remonstrance was impossible, and I let them alone. Soldiers, boys,
women, etc.! I could hear them recognizing the various places. They were
very polite, kept out of my line of sight, and decided that it was
"Photogeraphee" like the people in Rotterdam! When we parted, I bowed to
them and they to me!!! To-morrow we go back to Rotterdam for one night,
the next day to Antwerp.

_Friday night. Michaelmas Day._ Hotel Pay Bas, Rotterdam.--Back again!
and to-morrow at 8.15 a. m. we go back to dear old Antwerp. For the
solemn fact has made itself apparent, that the money will not hold out
till to-morrow week, as we intended. So we must give up our dear
Captain, and come home in the _Tiger!!_ We shall be with you D.V. on
Saturday week, starting on Wednesday from Antwerp. We have been to the
Poste Restante, and got dear Mother's letter, to my infinite delight.
I am so glad Miss Yonge likes "the Brownies."

Your ever loving, JUDY


_Sevenoaks_. January 12, 1866.


I do humbly beg your pardon for having written such scrappish,
snappish, selfish letters! The tide of comfort has begun to set in
from Ecclesfield to my infinite delight. So far from being vexed at
your being so careful--I earnestly hope you will never be less so. If
you had been, _I_ should have been dead long ago. I have no more doubt
than of my present well-being. And as it is--taking care is so little
in my line--that if _you_ took to _ignoring_ one's delicacy, or
fancying it was fancy--I know I should merely (by instinct) hold out
to the last gasp of existence, and do _what_ I could, _while_ I

I am cheered beyond anything with these critiques on "The Brownies." I
must tell you I have read Aunt Mary the beginning of my new story, and
she likes it very much. It will be longer than "The Brownies." ... I
am writing most conscientiously--it will not be a bit longer than it
should be, but naturally of itself will spread into a good deal. In
fact, it is several stories together--a _Russian_ one among them
("Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances").


_Ecclesfield_. May 28, 1866.

I send you a song,[33] "which is not very long"--and that is about its
only merit. I am utterly disgusted with it myself for producing
nothing better.... However, here it is, and now I must explain it.

I have endeavoured to bear in mind three things--simplicity of idea,
few verses, and a musical swing. I have constructed it so that one
child's voice may sing for the Child, another child's voice for the
Bird, and as many children as you please in the Chorus.

The "Hush! hush! hush!" I thought ought to have a piano effectiveness,
and it is a word children enjoy.

[Footnote 33: "The Promise": "Verses for Children." Vol. ix. Set to
music by Alexander Ewing.--_Aunt Judy's Magazine_, July 1866.]

                      THE PROMISE.


            Five blue eggs hatching,
            With bright eyes watching,
    Little brown mother, you sit on your nest.


            Oh! pass me blindly,
            Oh! spare me kindly,
    Pity my terror, and leave me to rest.

                 _Chorus of Children._

            Hush! hush! hush!
            'Tis a poor mother thrush.
    When the blue eggs hatch, the brown birds will sing--
        This is a promise made in the spring.


            Five speckled thrushes,
            In leafy bushes,
    Singing sweet songs to the hot summer sky.
            In and out twitting,
            Here and there flitting,
    Happy in life as the long days go by.


            Hush! hush! hush!
            'Tis the song of the thrush:
    Hatched are the blue eggs, the brown birds do sing--
        Keeping the promise made in the spring.

If you liked, one voice, or half the party, might sing, "When the blue
eggs hatch," and the other, "The brown birds will sing." Some are
doubtful about the last lines, but the word "promise" had a jubilant
musical rhythm in my head. However, you can alter it; if it has not
the same in yours.... I don't set up for a versifier, and you may do
what you please with this.

There is a certain class of child's song which is always taught in the
National system by certificated infant school mistresses. They are
semi-theatrical, very pretty, and serve at once as music, discipline,
and amusement. Such as "The Clock," in which they beat the hours,
swing for the pendulum, etc. There are certain actions in these songs
which express listening.... I am very fond of the National system for
teaching children, and it has struck me that this song is a little of
that type.... I am doubly vexed it is so poor, because your next thing
to "Jerusalem the Golden" ought to be very good. If you can, make your
Processional Hymn very grand, and I will do my very best. I have more
hope of that. Would the metre of Longfellow's "Coplas de Manrique" be
good for music? It would be a fine hymn measure.... Don't hamper
yourself about the metre. I will fit the words to the music.


_S.S. China._ June 10, 1867.

I staggered up yesterday morning to have my first sight of an
iceberg.... The sea was dark-blue, a low line of land (Cape Race) was
visible, and the iceberg stood in the distance dead white, like a lump
of sugar.... I think the first sight of Halifax was one of the
prettiest sights I ever saw. When I first came up there was no
horizon, we were in a sea of mist. Gradually the horizon line
appeared--then a line of low coast--muddy-looking at first--it soon
became marked with lines of dark wood--then the shore dotted with grey
huts--then the sun came out--the breeze got milder--and the air became
strongly redolent of pine-woods. Nearer, the coast became more
defined, though still low, rather bare, and dotted with brushwood, and
grey stones low down, and crowned always with "murmuring pines." As we
came to habitations, which are dotted, and sparkle along the shore,
the effect was what we noticed in Belgium, as if a box of very bright
new toys had been put out to play with, red roofs--even red
houses--cardboard-looking churches--little bright wooden houses--and
stiffish trees mixed everywhere. It looks more like a quaint
watering-place than a city, though there are some fine buildings....
We took a great fancy to the place, which was like a new child's
picture book, and I was rather disappointed to learn it is not to be
our home. But Fredericton, where we are going, has superior advantages
in some respects, and will very likely be quite as pretty.

_Halifax._ June 19, 1867.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rex and I went down to the fish-market that I might see it. Coming
back we met an old North American Indian woman. Such a picturesque
figure. We talked to her, and Rex gave her something. I do not think
it half so degraded-looking a type as they say. A very broad, queer,
but I think acute and pleasant-looking face. Since I came in I have
made two rather successful sketches of her.[34] She wore an old common
striped shawl, but curiously thrown round her so that it looked like a
chief's blanket, a black cap embroidered with beads, black trousers
stuffed into moccasins, a short black petticoat, and a large
gold-coloured cross on her breast, and a short jacket trimmed with
scarlet, a stick and basket for broken victuals. She said she was
going to catch the train! It sounded like hearing of Plato engaged for
a polka!...

[Footnote 34: See pages 175, 176.]

[Illustration: Indian.]

[Illustration: Indian.]


_Cathedral Church of Fredericton, New Brunswick._

August 23, 1867.


I have been a wretch for not having written to you sooner. It seems
strange there should remain any pressure of business or hurry of life
in this place, where workmen look out of the windows of the house (our
house and a fact!); they are repairing nine at a time, and boys swing
their buckets and dawdle to the well for water, as if Time couldn't be
lounged and coaxed off one's hands!! And yet busy I have been, and
every mail has been a scramble. Getting into our house was no joke,
attending sales and shops, buying furniture--ditto, ditto--as to
paying and receiving calls on lovely days with splendid sketching
lights--they have been thorns in the flesh--and, worst of all, regular
colonial experiences of servants--one went off at a day's notice--and
for two or three days we had _nobody_ but Rex's _orderly_, such a
handy, imperturbable soldier, who made beds, cooked the dinner, hung
pictures, and blew the organ with equal urbanity. He didn't know
much--and in the imperfect state of our cuisine had few
appliances--but he affected to be _au fait_ at everything--and what he
had not got, he "annexed" from somewhere else. One of our maids
uniformly set tumblers and wine-glasses with the tea set, and I found
"William" the Never-at-fault cleaning the plate with knife-powder, and
brushing his own clothes with the shoe brush. However, we have got a
very fair maid now, and are comfortable enough. Our house is awfully
jolly, though the workmen are yet about. The drawing-room really is
not bad. It is a good-sized room with a day window--green carpet and
sofa in the recess--window plant shelf--on one long side of the
wall--a writing-table between two book-shelves--and oh! my dear, I
cannot sufficiently say the _pleasure_ as well as _use_ and _comfort_
all my wedding presents have been to me. You can hardly estimate the
comforting effect of these dear bits of civilization out here,
especially at first when we were less comfortable. But the
_refinements_ of comfort, you know, are not to be got here for love or
money as we get them at home. Your dear book and inkstand and weights
(uncommonly useful at this juncture of new postage), etc., look so
well on my writing-table--on which are also the Longleys' Despatch
Box--Frank Smith's blotting book--my Japanese bronzes, Indian box,
Chinese ditto, Japanese candlestick and Chinese shoes, etc. of
Rex's--our standing photos, table book-stand, etc., etc. You can't
imagine how precious any knick-knacks have become. My mother's
coloured photo that Brownie gave me is propped in the centre--and we
have bought a mahogany bracket for my old Joan of Arc!! We have hired
a good harmonium. Altogether the room really looks pretty with a
fawn-coloured paper and the few water colours up--round table, etc.,
etc. Our bedroom has a blue and white paper, is a bright, airy,
two-windowed room, with a _lovely_ eastward view over the river--the
willows--and the pine woods. Our abundant space mocks one's longing to
invite a good many dear old friends to visit one! We have much to be
thankful for--which excellent sentiment brings me to the Cathedral.
It would be a fine, well-appointed Church even in Europe. It stands
lovelily looking over the river, surrounded by maples, etc., etc. (and
to the left a beautiful group of the "feathered elms" of the country).
There is daily Morning Prayer at 7.30, to which we generally go, and
where the Bishop always appears. There is a fair amateur choir, and a
beautiful organ built by a man who died just when he had completed it.
But, my dear, in addition to these privileges, we weekly "sit under"
the most energetic, quaint-looking, and dignified of Bishops--who has
a clear, soft, penetrating voice that rings down the Cathedral in the
Absolution and Benediction, and who preaches such fine, able,
practical, learned, and beautiful sermons--as I really do not think
Oxon, or Vaughan, or any of our great men much excel. This would be
nearly enough, even if one did not know him; but when we dined at
Government House the other night--rather to my surprise, I was sent in
with him, and found him very amusing, and full of funny anecdotes of
the province. Since when we have rapidly become fast friends. He is
very musical, and when he and Rex get nobbling over the piano and
organ--there they stick!! Rex is appointed supplementary organist, and
to-morrow (being their Annual Festival) he is to play. Last night we
had a grand "practice" at the Bishop's, and it felt wonderfully like
home. He has lots of books, and has put them at our disposal--and, to
crown all, has offered to teach us Hebrew if we will teach him German
this winter. His wife is _very_ nice too.... She is a good practical
doctor, kind without measure, and being a great admirer of Mother's
writings, has taken me under her wing--to see that I do nothing
contrary to the genius of the climate! People are wonderfully kind
here. They really keep us in vegetables, and I have a lovely nosegay
on my table at this moment. There is a very pleasant Regiment (22nd)
here, with a lovely band. On my birthday Rex gave me Asa Gray's
_Botany_, a book on botany generally, and on North American plants in
particular. Some of the wild-flowers are lovely. One (Pigeon Berry)
[_sketch_] has a white flower amid largish leaves--thus. It grows
about as large as wild anemone, in similar places and quantities. When
the flower falls the stamens develop into a thick _bunch_ of
_berries_, the size and colour of holly berries, only _brighter_
brilliant scarlet, and patches of pine wood are covered with them.

My dear, you _would_ like this place! My best love to all your people.
Isabel's fan could have no more appropriate field for its exhibition
than summer here! Adieu, beloved. (I say nothing about home news. Z.'s
affair bewilders me. I am awfully anxious for news, but it's useless
talking at this distance.) (See Lamb's Essay on Distant Correspondents
in the Elia!!!!!)

Your ever loving,


_Fredericton._ September 21, 1867.


The room being rather warm (with a fire!) and having been very busy
all day sketching, etc., etc., and having just done my Hebrew lesson
in a sleepyish sort of manner--I have turned lazy about working at
Mrs. Overtheway to-night, and am going to get on with my letter
instead. Rex is mouthing Hebrew gutturals at my elbow, so don't be
astonished if I introduce the "_yatz_, _yotz_, _yomah_," etc., that
sound in my ears! I must tell you we have actually despatched a small
parcel to Ecclesfield. We crossed early one day by the ferry, and went
to the Indian settlement, where we bought a small and simple basket of
a squaw which she had just made, and which shows their work, and will
hold a few of your odds and ends. We send M. a little card-case of
Indian work, and R. a cigar-case. These two things are worked by Huron
Indians in stained moose hair. The Melicites who are _here_ work in
basket-work and in coloured beads. I got two strips of their coloured
bead-work, and Sarah and I "ran up" two red velvet bags and trimmed
them with these strips for tobacco bags for A. and S. I thought you
would like to see the different kinds of work. The MicMacs work in
stained porcupine, but I have not sent any of their work. They are
only very little things, but they come from _us!_ We have had so much
to do, I have got on very badly with my botanizing, but I have sent
one or two ferns for you. We were late for flowers. Tell S. the
_Impatiens Fulva_ is a wonderful flower. When you touch (almost when
you _shake_ with approaching) the seed vessels, they burst and curl up
like springs, and fling the seed away. I mean to try to preserve seed.
The _Chelone Glabra_ as pressed by me gives no idea of the beautiful
dead-white flower, something like a foxglove only more compact. I have
told you what the parcel contains that you may not expect greater
things than will appear from our little Christmas Box!...

To-day has been lovely and we have enjoyed it. Rex has been with me
all day, though when I speak of his being with me I speak of his
bodily presence only. In spirit he is with the conjugations Kal,
Highil, etc., etc. He has bought Gesenius' Grammar, and a very fine
one it seems. He lives with Gesenius, and if he doesn't take it to
bed, it is not that he leaves Hebrew in the drawing-room. He undresses
to the tune of the latest exercise, and puts me through the imperfect
and perfect of [Hebrew: khatah] before we get up of mornings! (He has just
discovered that Eden was about the same latitude as Fredericton!)
There is always Morning Prayer and Holy Communion here on Saints'
Days, and to-day being S. Matthew, we went to the 11 service. After
Church we went a little way up the road, and I did a sepia sketch of
"our street," Rex sitting by me and groaning Hebrew. It was gloriously
sunny, and such a lovely sky, and such an exquisitely calm river with
white-sailed boats on it. I have enjoyed it immensely....

_Fredericton._ 19th Sunday after Trinity, 1867.

       *       *       *       *       *

I wonder if I send it by next mail, whether you would have room for a
very short Christmas sort of prose Idyll suggested to me by a scene I
saw when we were hunting for a sketch the other day. If I can jot it
down, I don't suppose it would be more than two or three pages. If I
send it at all it will come by the Halifax mail. It will be called
"The Two Christmas Trees."...


September 29, 1867.

... I have fallen head over ears in love with another dog. Oh! bless
his nose!... His name is Hector. He is a _white_ pure bull-dog. His
face is more broad and round--and delicious and ferociously
good-natured--and affectionately ogreish--than you can imagine. The
moment I saw him I hugged him and kissed his benevolence bump, and he
didn't even _gowly powl_....


[_Fredericton_, 1867?]

... Talking of stories, if I only can get the full facts of his history,
I think I shall send A.J.M. a short paper on a Fredericton Dog. Did I
ever tell you of him? He has the loveliest face I ever saw, I think, _in
any Christian_. He knows us quite well when we go up the High Street
where he lives. When he gets two cents (1_d._) given him, he takes it in
his mouth to the nearest store and buys himself buscuits. I have seen
him do it. If you only give him _one_ cent he is dissatisfied, and tries
to get the second. The Bishop told me he used to come to Church with his
master at one time; he would come and behave very well--TILL the
offertory. Then he rose and _walked after the alms-collectors_, wagging
his tail as the money chinked in, because he wanted his penny for his
biscuits!!! He is a large dog--part St. Bernard, and has magnificent
eyes. But (my _poor_!) they shaved him this summer like a poodle! There
is a bear in the officers' quarters here--he belongs to the regiment. I
have patted him, but he catches at one's clothes. To see him _patting_
at my skirts with his paw was delicious--but I don't like his _head_, he
looks very sly!

January 2, 1868.

... Indeed it is hard not to be able to see each other at any moment
and to be "parted" even for a time. But to us all, who all enjoy
everything to be seen and heard, and heard of in new places and among
other people; the fact that I have to lead a traveller's life gives us
certain great pleasures we could not have had if Rex had been a curate
at Worksop (we'll say), and we couldn't even afford a trip to the
Continent! Also if I have any gift for writing it really _ought_ to
improve under circumstances so much more favourable than the narrowing
influence of a small horizon.... I only wish my gift were a little
nearer _real_ genius!! As it is, I do hope to improve gradually; and
as I _do_ work slowly and conscientiously, I may honestly look forward
with satisfaction to the hope of being able to turn a few honest
pennies to help us out: and it _is_ a satisfaction, and a blessing I
am thankful for. I only wish I could please myself better! However,
small writers are wanted as well as big ones, and there is no reason
why donkey-carts shouldn't drive even if there are coaches on the

[_Fredericton_.] February 3, 1868.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I am so infinitely obliged to you for your wisdom _in re_ Reka Dom,
and very thankful for the criticisms, to which I shall attend. I mean
to compress it very much. I will keep the river part, though that is
really the shadow of some of my best writing, I think, in the _Dutch_
tale describing that scene at Topsham. I wrote a good bit last night,
and was much wishing for the returned MS. But the sight of the proof
will help me more than anything. I lose all judgment of my own work in
MS. I feel as if it must be as laborious to read as it has been to
write. Whereas in print it comes freshly on me, and I can criticize it
more fairly. It will not be very long when all is done, I think, and I
am so anxious to make it good, I hope it will be satisfactory. A
little praise really does help one to work, and I don't think makes
one a bit less conscientious.

It has been a very jolly mail this time, though the Lexicon has not
come. The Bishop's is getting worn with use, for Rex does his daily
chapter with unfailing regularity, and is murmuring Hebrew at my elbow
at this moment as usual. Mr. James McCombie, the uncle who lives in
Aberdeen, the lawyer, has sent me such a pretty book of photographs of
Aberdeen! with a kind message about my letter to the poor old Mother,
and asking me to write to them. I had asked for a photo of the old
Cathedral graveyard where Rex's parents and brother and sister are
buried, and there is a lovely one of it, but it is a set of views of
Aberdeen, very good photos, and a very pretty book. All Rex's old
haunts. Isn't it nice?

[_Sketch of Old Machar Cathedral._]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

[_Fredericton._] April 4, 1868.

I hoped to have sent you the whole of Reka Dom this mail. But a most
unexpected fall of snow has made the travelling so insecure that it is
considered a risk to wait till Monday, and I must send off what I can
to-day. It is so nearly done that I am not now afraid to send off the
first part (which will be more than you will want for May), and you
may rely on the rest by next mail; and the remainder of Mrs. O. as
rapidly as possible. It has certainly given me a wonderful amount of
bother this time, and I was disappointed in the feeling that Rex did
not think it quite up to my other things. But to-day in reading it
all, and a lot that he had not seen before, I heard him laughing over
it by himself, and he thinks it now one of my best, so I am in great
spirits, and mean to finish it with a flourish if possible. I have cut
and carved and clipped till I lost all sense of what was fit to
remain, and Rex has insisted on a good deal being replaced.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Fredericton._ April 17, 1868.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Squaw has been making the blotting-case, and Peter brought it
to-day, and I am very much pleased with it and hope M. will like it. I
would like to have got an envelope case and a canoe, but they are so
difficult to pack, and it would be so aggravating to have them broken,
so we got a few flat things. The blotting-case and moccasins, and a
cigar-case for F., and a tiny pair of snow-shoes. The blotting-case is
a good specimen, as it is made of the lovely birch bark; and they were
all got direct from Indians we know. A squaw with a sad face of
rather a nigh type called to beg the other day. She could hardly
speak English. She said, "Sister, me no ate to-day;" so I gave her
some bread-and-butter, which she gave at once to the boy with her, and
went away.

We have had some splendid Auroras lately. They are not _rosy_ here,
but very beautiful otherwise, and very capricious in shape, long grand
tongues of light shooting up into the sky.

       *       *       *       *       *

We are beginning now to talk of "Mayflower expeditions." I think I
shall give one to a few select friends. I had thought of a child's
one, but a nice old school-mistress here gives one for children, and I
think one raid of the united juvenile population on the poor lovely
flowers is enough. The Mayflower is a lovely wax-like ground creeper
with an exquisite perfume. It is the first flower, and is to be found
before the snow has left the woods....

May 12, 1868.

... I have a wonderful lot of gardening on my shoulders, for we have
no _gardener_--only get a soldier to work in the kitchen garden--so I
have had to make my plans and arrange my crops for the kitchen garden,
as well as look after my own. We have really two _charming_ bits--a
little, hot, sunny, good soil, vegetable plot--and quite away from
this--by the house, my flower garden. Two round beds and four borders,
with a high fence and two little gates, I have nearly got this tidy.
The last occupant had never used it. It is a _great_ enjoyment to me,
and does me great good, I think, by keeping me out of doors. Rexie has
given me a dear little set of tools--French ones, like children's
toys, but quite enough for me. They form the subject of one of the
little rhymes that Hector and I make together, and that I croon to the
bull-doge to his great satisfaction.

    "The little Missus with the little spade
    Two little beds in the little garden has made.
    The Bull-doge watches (for he can't work)
    How she turns up the earth with her little fork.
    Then she takes up the little hoe
    And into the weeds doth bravely go,
    At last with the smallest of little rakes
    Quite smooth and tidy the beds she makes."

Another that was made in bed on the occasion of one of his _raids_ on
my invalid breakfast was--

    "'Tis the voice of the Bull-doge, I hear him complain,
    'You have fed me but lately: I must grub again.'
    As a pauper for pudding--so he for his meat--
    Gapes his jaws, and there's nothing a Bull-doge can't eat."

We sing these little songs together--and then I let him look in the
glass, when he gowly powls and barks dreadfully at the rival


May 18, 1868.

... I am awfully busy with my garden, and people are very kind in
giving me things. To-morrow we go to the Rowans, and I am to ransack
_his_ garden! I do think the exchange of herbaceous perennials is one
of the joys of life. You can hardly think how delicious it feels to
_garden_ after six months of frost and snow. Imagine my feelings when
Mrs. Medley found a bed of seedling bee larkspurs in her garden, and
gave me at least two dozen!!! I have got a whole row of them along a
border, next to which I _think_ I shall have mignonette and scarlet
geraniums alternately. It is rather odd after writing Reka Dom, that I
should fall heir to a garden in which almost the only "fixture" is a
south border of lilies of the valley!...


_Fredericton, N.B._ June 2, 1868.


       *       *       *       *       *

I can hardly tell you what a pleasure it is to me to have a garden.
The place has never felt so like a home before! I went into my little
flower garden (a separate plat from the other--fenced round, and
simply composed of two round beds, and four wooden-edged borders and
one elm tree) [_sketch_] early this morning, and it seemed so jolly
after the long winter. My jonquils are just coming out, and one or two
other things. In the elm tree two bright yellow birds were cheeping. I
mean to plant scarlet-runners to attract the humming birds. It is
something to see fireflies and humming birds in the flesh, one must

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot echo your severe remarks on the Queen, though I am _quite_
willing to second your praise of the Prince Consort. Her Most Gracious
Majesty is--excuse me--a subject I feel rather strongly about. We are
not--as an age--guilty of much weakness in the way of over loyalty to
anything or any person, and I cannot help at times thinking that it must
be a painful enough reflection to a woman like Queen Victoria, who at
any rate is as well read in the history and constitution of England as
most of us, to know what harvests of love and loyalty have been reaped
by Princes who lived for themselves and not for their people, who were
fortunate in the accidents of more power and less conscience, and of
living in times when you couldn't get your sovereign's portrait for a
penny, or suggest to the loyal and well-behaved Commons that if the
King's health was not equal to all that you thought fit, you would
rather he abdicated. When one thinks of all that noble hearts bled and
suffered and held their peace for--to prop up the throne of Stuart--of
all the vices that have been forgiven, the weaknesses that have been
covered, the injustice that has been endured from Kings--when one
thinks--if _she_ thinks!--of all that has been suffered from successive
mistresses and favourites of royalty a thousand times more easily than
she can be forgiven for (grant it!) a weak and selfish grief for a noble
husband--it is enough to make one wonder if nations are not like
dogs--better for beating. If the Queen could cut off a few more heads,
and subscribed to a few less charities, if she were a little less
virtuous, and a little more tyrannical, if she borrowed her subjects'
plate and repudiated her debts, instead of reducing her household
expenses, and regulating court mournings by the interests of trade, I am
very much afraid we should be a more loyal people! If we had a
slender-limbed Stuart who insisted upon travelling with his temporary
favourite when the lives and livelihoods of the best blood of Britain
were being staked for his throne whilst he amused himself, I suppose we
should wear white favours, and believe in the divine right of Kings. It
must be impossible for her to forget that the Prince, whom death has
proved to be worthy of the praise most people now accord him, was far
from popular in his lifetime, and the pet gibe and sport of _Punch_. I
suppose when she is dead or abdicated we shall discover that England has
had few better sovereigns--and one can only hope that the reflection may
not be additionally stimulated by the recurrence of her successor to
some of the more popular--if not beneficial--peculiarities of former
reigns. It is true that then we might kick royalty overboard altogether,
but, judging by the United States, I don't know that we should benefit
even on the points where one might most expect to do so. In truth, I
believe that the virtue of loyalty is extinct and must be--except under
one or two conditions. Either more royal prerogative than we have--or in
the substitution of a loyal affection that shall in each member of the
commonwealth cover and be silent over the weak points which the
publicity of the present day exposes to vulgar criticism--for the spirit
which used to give the blood and possessions which are not exacted of
us. This is why the Queen's books do not trouble _my_ feelings about
her. She is no great writer certainly, and has perhaps made a mistake in
thinking that they would do good. I think they will do good with a
certain class, perhaps they lower her in the eyes of others. I do think
myself that the virtues she (and even her books incidentally) display
are so great, and her weaknesses comparatively so small, that one's
loyalty must be little indeed if one cannot honour her. "Them's my
sentiments." I am ashamed to have bored you with them at such length.

I wonder whether you thought of us yesterday? But I know you did! We
had planned a Johnny Gilpin out for the day, but it proved impossible.
So we spent it thus--A.M. Full Cathedral Service with the Holy
Communion, which was very nice, though, as it was a Feast Day, the
service was later than usual, so it took all our morning. Rex played
the organ. We spent most of the afternoon in tuning the organ, and
then R. went off to mesmerize a man for neuralgia, and I went up town
to try and get something good for dinner!

I am very happy, though at times one _longs_ to see certain faces. But
GOD is very good, and I have all that I can desire almost.

The Spring flowers are very lovely, some of them. I must go out.

_Best_ love to your Mother and all, to Lucy especially.

Your ever affectionate, J.H.E.


_Fredericton._ June 8, 1868.


Does the above sketch give you the faintest idea of what it is to
paddle up and down these lovely rivers with their smaller tributaries
and winding creeks, on a still sunny afternoon? It really is the most
fascinating amusement we have tried yet. Mr. Bliss took us out the
other day, it being the first time either of us was in a canoe, and
Rex took one of the paddles, and got on so well that we intend to have
a canoe of our own. Peter Poultice is building it, and I hope soon to
send you a sketch of Rex paddling his own canoe! Of us, I may say, for
I tried a paddle to-day, and mean to have a little one of my own to
give _my_ valuable assistance in helping the canoe along. Next month
when Rex can get away we think of going up the river to "Grand Falls"
(the next thing to Niagara, they say) by steamer, taking our canoe
with us, and then paddling ourselves home with the stream. About
eighty miles. Of course we should do it bit by bit, sleeping at
stopping-places. One art Rex has not yet acquired, and it _looks_
awful! A sort of juggler's trick, that of _carrying_ his canoe.
Imagine taking hold of the side of a canoe that would hold six people,
throwing it up and overturning it neatly on your head, without
injuring either your own skull or the canoe's bottom.... This canoeing
is really a source of great pleasure to us, and will more thaw double
the enjoyment of summer to me. With a canoe Rex can "pull" me to a
hundred places where a short walk from the shore will give me
sketching, botanizing, and all I want! Moreover, the summer heat at
times oppresses my head, and then to get on the water gives a cool
breeze, and _freshens one up_ in a way that made me think of what it
must be to people in India to get to "the hills." I have never wished
for some of you more than on this lovely river, gliding about close to
the water (you sit on the very bottom of the canoe), all the trees
just bursting into green, and the water reflecting everything
exquisitely. Kingfishers and all kinds of birds flitting about and
singing unfamiliar songs; bob-o-links going "twit-twit," little yellow
birds, kingbirds, crows, and the robin-thrushes everywhere. I landed
to-day at one place, and went into a wood to try and get flowers. I
only got one good one, but it was very lovely! Two crows were making
wild cries for the loss of one of their young ones which some boys had
taken, and as I went on I heard the queer chirrup (like a bird's note)
of Adjidaumo the squirrel! and he ran across my path and into a hollow
tree. It is a much smaller squirrel than ours, about the size of a
water rat, and beautifully striped.

The only drawback to the paddling is that the beloved Hector cannot go
with us. He would endanger the safety of the canoe. One has to sit
very still....

June 16, 1868.


We sent off the first part of "Kerguelen's Land" yesterday.... Rex is
so much pleased with the story that _I_ am quite in spirits about it,
and hope you may think as favourably. He thinks if you read the end
bit before you get the rest you will never like it, and yet I am very
anxious to take the chance of the first part's having gone, as I want
a proof--so if you do not get the first part, please put this by till
you do, and don't read it.

Would it be possible for Wolf to illustrate it? If he knows the
breeding islands of the Albatross he would make a lovely thing of it.
This is the last _story_. There will only be a _conclusion_ now. I
have got my "information" from Rex, and "Homes without Hands."--The
only point I am in doubt about is whether the parent birds would have
remained on the island so _long_--I mean for _months_. Do you know any
naturalist who would tell you this? When they are not breeding they
seem to have no home, as they follow ships for weeks.

How we miss Dr. Harvey, and his _fidus Achates_--poor old Dr.
Fisher!--I so often want things "looked up"--and we do lack books

_Fredericton_. November 3, 1868.

... I _must_ tell you what Mrs. Medley said to me this evening as we
came out of church. She said, "It is an odd place to begin in about
it, but I must thank you for the end of Mrs. Overtheway. The pathos of
those old Albatrosses! The Bishop and I cried over them. I suppose
it's the highest compliment we can pay you to say it is equal to
anything of your Mother's, and that you are a worthy daughter of your
Mother." Wasn't that a splendid bit of praise to hear all these miles
away from one's dear old wonderful old Mother?...

To H.K.F.G.

_Fredericton N.B._
Tuesday, December 8, 1868.

... Tell the dear Mother, please, that I got dissatisfied with my
story, and _recast it_ and began again--and got on awfully well, and
was very well satisfied with it. But Rex read what was done and
doesn't care for it a bit--in fact quite the reverse, which has rather
upset my hopes. However, he says he cannot properly judge till it is
finished, so I am going to finish it off, and if he likes it better
then, I shall send it next mail. It is a regular child's story--about
Toys--not at all sentimental--in fact meant to be amusing; but as Rex
read it with a face for a funeral, I don't know how it will be. I
don't somehow think the idea is bad. It is (roughly) this: A pickle of
a boy with a very long-suffering sister (I hope you won't object to
her being called Dot. You know it's a very common pet name, and it
"shooted" so well) gets all her toys and his own and makes an
"earthquake of Lisbon" in which they are all smashed. From which a
friend tells them the story of a dream she is supposed to have had
(but I flattered myself the dream was rather neatly done up) of
getting into fairyland to the Land of Lost Toys--where she meets all
her old toys that she destroyed in her youth. Here she is shown in a
kind of vision Dutch and German people making these toys with much
pains and industry, and is given a lot of material and set to do the
like. Failing this she is condemned to suffer what she inflicted on
the toys, each one passing its verdict upon her. Eventually a doll
(MY Rosa!!!!) that she had treated very well rescues her, and
the story reverts to the sister and brother, who takes to amusing
himself by establishing himself as toy-mender to the establishment,
instead of cultivating his bump of destructiveness. I sketch the idea
because (if the present story fails) if you think the _idea_ good I
would try to recast it again. If I send it as it is, it is pretty sure
to come by the Halifax mail next week.... I do miss poor dear old Dr.
Fisher, so! I very much wanted some statistics about toy-making. You
never read anything about the making of common Dutch toys did you?...

_Fredericton_, December 8, 1868.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tell Mother I think she ought to get _Henry_ Kingsley to write for
_Aunt Judy's Magazine_. The _children_ and the _dogs_ in his novels
are the best part of them. They are utterly first rate! I am sure he
would make a hit with a child and dog story.

I told you that Bishop Ewing had written me such a charming letter,
and sent me a sermon of his? This mail he sent us a number of the
_Scottish Witness_ with "Jerusalem the Golden" in Gaelic in it....


_Fredericton, N.B._

Easter Monday, 1869,

       *       *       *       *       *

You are very dear and good about our ups and downs, and it makes me
doubly regret that I cannot reward you by conveying a perfectly
truthful _impression_ of our life, etc. here to your mind, I trace in
your very dearness and goodness about it, in your worrying more about
discomfort for me in our moves than about your own hopes of our
meeting at Home, how little able one is to do so by mere letters, I
wish it did not lead you to the unwarrantable conclusion that it is
because you are "weak and old" that you do not appreciate the
uncertainties of our military housekeeping, and can only "admire" the
coolness with which I look forward to breaking up our cosy little
establishment, just when we were fairly settled down. You can hardly
believe how well I understand your feelings for me, _because I have so
fully gone through them for myself_. I never had D.'s "spirit" for a
wandering life, and it is out of the fulness of my experience that I
_know_ and wish unspeakably that I could convey to you, how very much
of one's shrinking dread has all the _unreality_ of fear of an
_unknown_ evil. When I look back to all I looked forward to with fear
and trembling in reference to all the strangenesses of my new life, I
understand your feelings better than you think. I am too much your
daughter not to be strongly tempted to "beat my future brow," much
more so than to be over-hopeful. Rex is given that way too in his own
line; and we often are brought to say together how inexcusable it is
when everything turns out so much better than we expected, and when
"God" not only "chains the dog till night," but often never lets him
loose at all! Still the natural terrors of an untravelled and not
herculean woman about the ups and downs of a wandering, homeless sort
of life like ours are not so comprehensible by him, he having
travelled so much, never felt a qualm of sea-sickness, and less than
the average of home-sickness, from circumstances. It is one among my
many reasons for wishing to come Home soon, that one chat would put
you in possession of more idea of our passing home, the nest we have
built for a season, and the wood it is built in, and the birds (of
many feathers) amongst whom we live, than any _letters_ can do.... You
can imagine the state of (far from blissful) ignorance of military
life, tropical heat, Canadian inns, etc., etc., in which I landed at
Halifax after such a sudden wrench from the old Home, and such a very
far from cheerful voyage, and all the anecdotes of the summer heat,
the winter cold, the spring floods, the houses and the want of houses,
the servants and the want of servants, the impossibility of getting
anything, and the ruinous expense of it when got! which people pour
into the ears of a new-comer just because it is a more sensational and
entertaining (and _quite_ as stereotyped) a subject of conversation as
the weather and the crops. The points may be (isolatedly) true; but
the whole impression one receives is alarmingly false! And I can only
say that my experience is so totally different from my fears, and from
the cook-stories of the "profession," that I don't mean to request Rex
to leave Our Department at present!...


_Fredericton._ Septuagesima, 1869.

... I am sending you two fairy stories for your editorial
consideration. They are not intended to form part of "The Brownies"
book--they are an experiment on my part, and _I do not mean to put my
name to them_.

You know how fond I have always been of fairy tales of the Grimm type.
Modern fairy tales always seem to me such _very_ poor things by
comparison, and I have two or three theories about the reason of this.
In old days when I used to tell stories to the others, I used to have
to produce them in considerable numbers and without much preparation,
and as that argues a _certain_ amount of imagination, I have
determined to try if I can write a few fairy tales of the genuine
"uninstructive" type by following out my theories in reference to the
old traditional ones. Please _don't_ let out who writes them (if you
put them in, and if any one cares to inquire!), for I am very anxious
to hear if they elicit any comments from your correspondents to
confirm me in my views. In one sense you must not expect them to be
original. _My aim is_ to imitate the "old originals," and I mean to
stick close to orthodox traditions in reference to the proceedings of
elves, dwarfs, nixes, pixies, etc., and if I want them to use such
"common properties of the fairy stage"--as unscrupulous foxes, stupid
giants, successful younger sons, and the traditional "fool"--with much
wisdom under his folly (such as Hans in Luck)--who suggests the court
fools with their odd mixture of folly and shrewdness. _One_ of my
theories is that all real fairy tales (of course I do not allude to
stories of a totally different character in which fairy machinery is
used, as your Fairy Godmothers, my "Brownies," etc., etc.), that all
real "fairy tales" should be written as if they were oral traditions
taken down from the lips of a "story teller." This is where modern
ones (and modern editions of Grimm, _vide_ "Grimm's Goblins,"
otherwise a delicious book) fail, and the extent to which I have had
to cut out reflections, abandon epithets, and shorten sentences, since
I began, very much confirms my ideas. I think the Spanish ones in
_Aunt Judy's Magazine_ must have been so obtained, and the contrast
between them and the "Lost Legends" in this respect is marked. There
are plenty of children who can appreciate "The Rose and the Ring,"
"The Water Babies," your books, and the most poetical and suggestive
dreams of Andersen. But (if it can be done) I think there is also a
strong demand for new combinations of the Step-mother, the Fox, the
Luck Child, and the Kings, Princesses, Giants, Witches, etc. of the
old traditions. I say combinations advisedly, for I suppose _not_ half
of Grimm's Household Stories have "original" plots. They are palpable
"_réchauffées_" of each other, and the few original germs might, I
suspect, be counted on one's fingers, even in fairy-lore, and then
traced back to a very different origin. Of course the market is
abundantly stocked with modern versions, but I don't think they are
done the right way. This is, however, for the Editorial ear, and to
gain your unbiased criticism. But, above all, don't tell any friends
that they are mine for the present. Of course if they DID
succeed, I would republish and add my name. But I want to be incognito
for the present--1st, to get free criticism; 2nd, to give them fair
play; 3rd, not to do any damage to my reputation in another "walk" of
story-writing. I do not in the least mean to give up my own style and
take to fairy tale-telling, but I would like to try this

Monday, April 19, 1869.

... I have two or three _schemes_ in my head.

"Mrs. Overtheway" (_2nd series_), "Fatima's Flowers," etc.

"The Brownies (and other Tales)."

"Land of Lost Toys," "Three Christmas Trees," "Idyll," etc.

"Boneless," "Second Childhood," etc., etc.

"The Other Side of the World," etc., etc.

"Goods and Chattels" (quite vague as yet).

"A Sack of Fairy Tales" (in abeyance).

"A Book of _weird queer_ Stories" (none written yet).

"Bottles in the Sea," "Witches in Eggshells," "Elephants in
Abyssinia," etc.

And (a dear project) a book of stories, chiefly about Flowers and
Natural History associations (_not scientific, pure fiction_),

"The Floating Gardens of Ancient Mexico," the "Dutch Story,"
"Immortelles," "Mummy Peas," etc., etc. (none even planned yet!)...

To H.K.F.G.

[Undated, _Fredericton_.]

... How well I know what you say about the truth of Mother's sayings
of the soothing effects of Nature! I used to feel it about gardening
also so much. Visions of three yellow, three white, and three purple
crocuses blooming in one pot beguile the mind from less happy
fancies--perhaps too the _largeness_ and _universality_ of Nature
disperse the selfishness of personal cares and worries. Then I think
the smell of _earth_ and _plants_ has a physical anodyne about it
somehow! One cannot explain it....


_Fredericton, N.B._
5th Sunday after Trinity, 1869.

... We have another "dogue."... _Trouvé_ is the name of Hector's
successor. 'Cos for why, we found him locked up in one of the barrack
rooms, when I was with Rex on one of his inspections. He is a "left
behind" either of the 1st Battalion 22nd, or the 4th Battalion 60th
Rifles, we do not know which. He has utterly taken to us, and is
especially fond of me I think. He is a big, black fellow, between a
Newfoundland and a retriever. In the "Sweep" line, but not so big. He
is wonderfully graceful and well-mannered (barring a trifling incident
yesterday, when he got into my little cupboard, ate about two pounds
of cheese and all the rolls, and _snuffed_ the butter). And another
trifling occurrence to-day. We chained him to the sofa, which, during
our absence, he _dragged_ (exactly as the dogs dragged _Mons. Jabot's
bed_) across the room, upset the ink on to the carpet, threw my
photo-book down by it, and established himself in Rex's arm-chair. It
was most ludicrous, for the other day he slipped his collar, and
_chose the sofa_ to lie on, but because he was tied to the sofa, with
full permission to use it, he chose the chair! and must nearly have
lugged his own head off. He does wonderfully little damage with his
pranks; there were wine-glasses, bottles, pickles, &c., in the
cupboard when he got the cheese; but he extracted his supper as
daintily as a cat, and not a thing was upset! Oddly enough, when we
are with him, he never thinks of getting into cushions and chairs like
that blessed old sybarite the Bull-dogue. But if we leave him tied up,
he plays old gooseberry with the furniture. I had been fearing it
would be rather a practical difficulty in the way of his adoption, the
question of where he should sleep; but he solved it for himself. He
walks up-stairs after us, flops on to the floor, gives two or three
sighs, and goes gracefully to sleep.... I wish you could have seen him
lying in perverse dignity in the arm-chair, with the sofa attached to
the end of his chain like a locket!!!

To H.K.F.G.

12th Sunday after Trinity.
_Fredericton, N.B._ August 16, 1869.

... We had a great scene with Peter yesterday. Rex has two guns, you
must know--a rifle, and an old fowling-piece--good enough in its way,
but awfully _old-fashioned_ (not a breech-loader), and he determined
to make old Peter a present of this, for he is a good old fellow, and
does not _cheat_ one, and we had resolved to give him something, and
we knew this would delight him. I wish you _could_ have seen him. He
burst out laughing, and laughed at intervals from pure pleasure, and
went away with it laughing. But with the childlike _enjoyment_ (which
negroes have also), the Indians have a power and grace in "expressing
their sentiments" on such an occasion which far exceeds the attempts
of our "poor people," and is most dignified. His first _speech_ was
an emphatic (and _always slow_) "_Too_ good! Too much!" and when Rex
assured him it was very old, not worth anything, etc., etc., he
hastily interrupted him with a _thoroughly_ gentlemanlike air, almost
Grandisonian, "Oh! oh! as good as new to me. Quite as good as new."
They were like two Easterns! For not to be outdone in courtesy, Rex
warned him not to put too large charges of powder for fear the barrel
should burst--being so old. A caution which I believe to be totally
unnecessary, and a mere hyperbole of depreciation--as Peter seemed
perfectly to understand! He told me it was "The first present I ever
receive from a gentleman. Well--well--I never forget it, the longest
day I live." The graceful candour with which he said, "I am very
thankful to you," was quite pretty.


[_Aldershot._] February 23, 1870.


I was by no means sensible of your iniquities in not acknowledging my
poor Neck,[35] for I had entirely forgotten his very existence! Only I
was thinking it was a long time since I heard from you--and hoping you
were not ill. I am _very_ glad you like the Legend--I was doubtful, and
rather anxious to hear till I forgot all about it. The "Necks" are
Scandinavian in locality, and that desire for immortal life which is
their distinguishing characteristic is very touching. There is one
lovely little (real) Legend in Keightley. The bairns of a Pastor play
with a Neck one day, and falling into disputes they taunt him that he
will never be saved--on which he flings away his harp and weeps
bitterly. When the boys tell their father he reproves them for their
want of charity, and sends them back to unsay what they had said. So
they run back and say, "Dear Neck, do not grieve so; for our father says
that your Redeemer liveth also," on which the Neck was filled with joy,
and sat on a wave and played till the sun went down. He appeared like a
boy with long fair hair and a red cap. They also appear in the form of a
little old man wringing out his beard into the water. I ventured to give
my Neck both shapes according to his age. All the rest is _de

[Footnote 35: The Neck in "Old-fashioned Fairy Tales."]

[_Aldershot._] March 22, 1870.


I am so very much pleased that you think better of Benjy[36] now. As I
have plenty of time, I mean to go through it, and soften Benjy down a
bit. He is an awful boy, and I think I can make him less repulsive.
The fact is the story was written _in fragments_, and I was anxious to
show that it was not a little boyish roughness that I meant to make a
fuss and "point a moral" about--nor did I want to go into fine-drawn
questions about the cruelties of sport, and when I came to join the
bits into a whole and copy out, I found I had overproved my point and
made Benjy a _fearful_ brute. But there _are_ some hideously cruel
boys, and I do think a certain devilish type of cruelty is generally
combined with a certain _lowness_ and _meanness_ of general
style--even in born gentlemen--and though quite curable, I would like
to hear what the boys think of it, if it would not bore them to read
it. But I certainly shall soften Benjy down--and will attend to all
your hints--and put in the "Mare's Nest" (many thanks!). Tell D. I do
not know how I could alter about Rough--unless I take out his death
altogether--but beg her to observe that he was not the least neglected
as to food, etc.; what he died of was joy after his anxiety....

[Footnote 36: Included in "Lob Lie-by-the-Fire, and other Tales," vol.

[_Aldershot._] May Day, 1870.

... I have got some work into my head which has been long seething
there, and will, I think, begin to take shape. It is about
_flowers_--the ancestry of flowers; whether the flowers will tell
their own family records, or what the _plot_ will be I have not yet
planned, and it will take me some time to collect my data, but the
family histories of flowers which came originally from old Mexico in
the days of Montezuma, and the floating gardens, and the warriors who
wore nosegays, and the Indians who paddled the floating gardens on
which they lived up the waters of that gorgeous city with early
vegetables for the chiefs--would be rather weird! And then the strange
fashions and universal prevalence of Japanese gardening. The wistaria
rioting in the hedges, and the great lilies wild over the hills. Ditto
the camellias. With all the queer little thatched Japanese huts that
always have lumps of _iris_ on the top, which the Japanese ladies use
for bandoline. Then the cacti would have queer legends of South
America, where the goats climb the steep rocks and dig them up with
their horns and roll them down into the valley, and kick and play with
them till the _spines_ get rubbed off, and then devour them at
leisure. I give you these instances in case anything notable about
flowers comes in your way, "when found to make a note of" for me....


_Ecclesfield_, October 25, 1871.


Your letter _was_ shown to me, and I cannot tell you how much obliged
to you I am for the prospect of the gold thimble, _a thing I have
always wished to possess_.

I--(if it fits!!! But, as I told Charlie, if it is too big I _can_
wrap a sly bit of rag round my finger, but if it's too small, unless I
cut the tip, as Cinderella's sisters cut their heels, I don't know how
I can secure it!) shall additionally value it as a testimony of your
approval of my dear old Hermit[37], for that is one of my greatest
favourites amongst my efforts. Miss Yonge prefers it, I believe, to
anything I have ever done, and Rex nearly so....

Your loving niece, J.H.E.

[Footnote 37: "The Blind Hermit and the Trinity Flower," vol. xvi.]


_Aldershot_. Holy Innocents, 1871,

... I had the very latest widow here for two days "charring." She is
the lady alluded to by Rex when he told Stephen that she had been
weighed, and was found wanting. In justice to her physique, I must say
that this was not according to avoirdupois measure!! but figurative.
She whipped about as nimbly as an elephant. She was rather given to
panting and groaning. You can fancy her. [_Sketch_.] "Mrs. Hewin,
ma'am, _don't_ soil your 'ands! _Let_ me! As I says to the parties at
the 'Imperial' at Folkstone, ladies thinks an elderly person can't get
through their work, but they can do a deal more than the young ones
that has to be told every--Using the table-cloth to wipe the dishes am
I? Tst, tst! so I ham! M'm! Hemma! where's your kitchen cloths? I
don't know where things his yet, Mrs. Hewin. But I've 'ad a 'Ome of my
own, Mrs. Hewin, and been use to take care of things"--("Take care,
Mrs. Plumridge")--"Well now! 'owever did _that_ slip through my
fingers now? Tst! tst! tst! There must have been a bit of butter on
the hunder side I think. Eh! deary dear! Ah--! Oh--!" Pause--Solo
recitative--"Eh, dear! If my poor 'usband was but alive, I shouldn't
be wanting now! I Ope I give you satisfaction, Mrs. Hewin. If I'm
poor, I'm honest. I ope I give satisfaction in hevery way, Mrs. Hewin,
Your property is safe in _my_ 'ands, Mrs. Hewin! What do you think of
my papers, Mrs. Hewin? One lady as see them said she didn't know what
more _hany_ one could require." (Said papers chiefly consisting of
baptism registers of the little Plumridges. Marriage lines of Mrs. P.,
and forms in reference to the late Mr. P., a pensioner.)


"Emma, where's the water-can?"

"Please 'm, Mrs. Plumberridge, she left it outside of the door
yesterday, and some one's took it."

There is yet a later widow, but I do _not_ think of taking her into
the house. The Widow Bone has taken to _boning_ her daughter's
clothes, so _she_ is forbidden the house....

To A.E.

_Brighton_. April 17, 1872.

... I got here all right, and wonderfully little tired, though the
train shook a good deal the latter part of the way.

Oh! the FLOWERS! The cowslips, the purple orchids, the kingcups, the
primroses! And the grey, drifting cumuli with gaps of blue, and the
cinnamon and purple woods, broken with yellowish poplars and pale
willows, with red farms, and yellow gorse lighted up by the sun!!! The
oaks just beginning to break out in yellowish tufts, [_Sketch._] I
can't tell you what lovely sketches I passed between Aldershot and

On to Brighton I took charge of a small boy being sent by a fond
mother to school. When I mention that he was nine years old,--and
informed me--that he had got "a jolly book," which proved to be _A
School for Fathers_, that his own school wasn't _much of a one_, and
he was going to leave, and ate hard-boiled eggs and crystallized
oranges by the way--you will see how this generation waxes apace!!

_Ecclesfield_. May 27, 1872.

... The weather is very nice now. I stayed till the end of the Litany
in church yesterday, and then slipped out by the organ door and sat
with Mother. I sat on the Boy's school side of the chancel, where a
little lad near me was singing _alto_ (not a "second" of thirds!)
strong and steady as a thrush in a hedge!! The music went very well.

The country looks lovely, _but for the smoke_. If it had but our blue
distance it would be grand. But the

                  "wreathed smoke afar
    That o'er the town like mist upraised
    Hung, hiding sun and star,"

gets worse every year! And when I think of our lovely blue and grey
folds of distance, and bright skies, and tints, I feel quite
_Ruskinish_ towards mills and manufactories.


_X Lines, South Camp, Aldershot._
August 10, 1873.


Don't you suppose your sister is forgetting you. Two causes have
delayed your drawings.

1. I have been working--oh _so_ hard! It was because Mr. Bell
announced that he wanted a "volume," and that for the Xmas Market one
must begin at once in July!

Such is competition!

He had an idea that something which had not appeared in any magazine
would be more successful than reprints. _So_ I have written "Lob
Lie-by-the-Fire, or the Luck of Lingborough," and you will recognize
your _Cockie_ in it! I have taken no end of pains with it, and it has
been a matter of seven or eight hours a day lately. I mean the last
few days. Rather too much. It knocked me off my sleep, and reduced "my
poor back" to the consistency of pith. But I am picking up, partly by
such gross material aid as _bottled stout_ affords! and any amount of
fresh air blowing in full draughts over my bed at night!!

2. I _have_ been at work for you, but I get so horribly dissatisfied
with my things. No; I must do some real steady _work_ at it. One can't
jump with a little "nice feeling" and plenty of theories into what can
give any lasting pleasure to oneself or any one else. I will send you
shortly (I hope) a copy of one of Sir Hope Grant's Chinnerys, and
perhaps a wee thing of Ecclesfield. The worst of drawing is, it wants
mind as well as hands. One can't go at it _jaded_ from head work, as
one could "sew a long white seam" or any mechanical thing!...

When D---- was with me, we went to a _fête_ in the North Camp Gardens,
and I was talking to Lady Grant about the Chinnerys, and the "happy
thought" struck her to introduce me to a Mr. Walkinshaw. They live
somewhere in this country, and Mrs. Walkinshaw came up afterwards to
ask if she might call on me, as they have a Chinnery collection
(gathered in China), and Mr. Walkinshaw would show them to me!... I
mean to collect all possible information on the subject, and either to
write myself, or _prime you_ to write an article on him some day!


_X Lines._ August 20, 1873.


... I enjoyed your letter very much, and am so glad you keep "office
hours." It is very good of you not to be angry with my good advice!
"Experientia does it," as Mr. 'Aughton would say.... _I_ break down
about once in three months like clockwork--from sheer overwork. I
certainly am never happy idle; but I have too often to sit in sackcloth
in the depths of my heart--whilst everybody is beseeching me to be
"idle"--from a consciousness that, not from doing nothing, but by doing
B when I should have done A, and C when I should have done B, a kind of
indolence at the critical moment, I have _wasted_ my strength and time,
not MERELY overworked myself. Also that on _many_ things--drawing,
languages, etc.--I have spent in my life a great deal of labour with
little result, because it has not been consecutive and methodical. One
would like one's own failures to be one's friends' stepping-stones. I
_may_ say too that I have an excuse which, thank GOD, you can't plead
now--ill-health. It is not always easy, even for oneself, to judge when
languor at the precise instant of recurring duty is spine-ache from
brain work, and the sofa is the remedy,--or when it is what (in
reference to an unpublished--indeed unwritten--story on this head) I
call Boneless on the spine! MY back is apt to ache in any case!... I am
trying to teach myself that if one _has_ been working, one has not
necessarily been working to good purpose, and that one may waste
strength and forces of all sorts, as well as time!

Curious that _you_ and D---- should both have quoted that saying of J.H.
Newman to me in one week! I also will adopt it! Indeed "bit by bit" is
the only way _I_ feel equal to improve in _anything_, and I do think it
is GOD's way of teaching and leading us all as a rule, and it is the
principle on the face of all His creation--_Gradual_ growth. The art of
being happy was never difficult to me. I think I am permitted an unusual
_intensity_ of joy in common cheap pleasures and natural beauties--fresh
air, colour, etc., etc., to compensate for some ill-health and

Herewith comes my "Portrait by Spoker," and a copy of a Chinnery. The
first-fruits of "regular" work at drawing an hour a day!!!

Farewell, Beloved.... Ever your very loving old sister,


_Ecclesfield Vicarage, Sheffield_.
Sunday, Oct. 5, 1873.

... It is all over. She _is_ with your Father and Mother, and the dear
Bishop, and my two brothers, and many an old friend who has "gone
before." Had she been merely a friend she is one of those whose loss
cannot but be felt more as years and experience make one realize the
value of certain noble qualities, and their rarity; but if
GOD has laid a heavy cross upon us in this blow,--which seems
such a blow in spite of long preparing!--He has given us every
comfort, every concession to the weaknesses of our love in the
accidents of her death.... It was an ideal end. GOD Who had
permitted her to suffer so sorely in body, and to be often visited in
old times--by dread of death and of "death-agonies," parted the waves
of the last Jordan, and she "went through dryshod!"... The sense of
her higher state is so overwhelming, one _cannot_ indulge a _common_
sorrow. For myself I can only say that I feel as if I were a child
again in respect of her. She is as much with _me_ now, as with any of
her children, even if I am in Jamaica or Ceylon. _Now_ she knows and
sees my life, and I have a feeling as if she were an ever-present
_conscience_ to me (as a mother's _presence_ makes a child alive to
what is right and what is wrong), which I hope by GOD's grace
may never leave me and may make me more worthy of having had such a


_R Lines; South Camp._ January 4, 1874.


What _would_ I give to have a visit from you! I fear you did not get
home at Xmas! Thank you a thousand times for your card--I think it
almost the very prettiest I ever saw!

... As I am not prompt _to time_ with my Xmas Box I may as well be
appropriate in kind. Is there any trifle you are "in want" of?

"Price ner object," as Emmanuel Eaton (the old Nursery man) (very
appropriately) named his latest Fuchsia, when he saw us children
turning down the Wood End Lane in the Donkey Carriage on a birthday,
flush of coppers--and bashful about abating prices!

... I was on the border of sending you a nice collection of
poetry--and a shadow crossed my brain that you have said you "don't
care about poetry"--"Lives there a man with soul so dead"--or does the
great commercial whirl weary out the brain?--If I am wrong and you
like it--will you have (if you don't possess) Trench's fine collection
of poems of all dates?

Your ever devoted


_X Lines, South Camp._ March 13, 1874.


I am _quite a brute_ not to have written before. I didn't, because (to
say the truth!) I had a "return compliment" in the Valentine line in
my head, and I never got time to do it! You know what the _pressure_
of work is, and I have had a lot in hand, and been _very_ far from

It was VERY good of you to send me a Val., and much appreciated.

I also owe you thanks for a copy of the "fretful" Porcupine [_Sketch_]
duly received. I was very glad to get it--for you have greatly,
wonderfully improved in your writing. I liked your article extremely,
and was so very glad to see the marked improvement....

I am _not_, when I speak of improvement in the art of English
composition, alluding solely to the time when you wrote as follows
(italics and caps your own):

"Mr. Gatty thinks that Messrs. Fisher & Holmes has sent more than he
desired _he said 2s._ or _2s. 6d._ and he thinks there is here more
than that he hopes he will answer and tell me what price the
LOT is and how many plants I may take for _2s._ or _2s. 6d._
by return of post or by Cox which will be better Ecclesfield June

I wouldn't part with the original of the above under a considerable
sum of money! It always refreshes my brain to go back to it--and I
laugh as often as one laughs, and re-laughs at Pickwick!--the way the
pronouns become entangled and after making an imperfectly distinctive
stand at "_he said_," jump desperately to the pith of the matter in
"what price the LOT is." All difficulties of punctuation
being disposed of by the process of omitting stops entirely--like old
Hebrew--written without points!

(What an autograph for collectors if ever you're the "King Cole" of

       *       *       *       *       *

... I have been staying with M.M. I wish I could impart my mental
gleanings. I made several experiments on her intellect. I tried to
_pin her_ again and again--but QUITE without success--or (on
_her_ part) sense of failure. I tried to remember what she had said
afterwards--and I could not succeed. I couldn't carry a single

Generally speaking I gather that--

"The Kelts are destroying themselves--the Teuton Element MUST
prevail--one feels--genius--the thing--Herr Beringer--Dr. Zerffi--but
whatever one may FEEL--so it is! Every other nation COMMENCED where we
LEAVE OFF. WE BEGAN with the DRAMA and left off with the
Epic--Milton's--what-is-it? But there you have Hamlet--where do you find
a character like Hamlet?--NOWHERE! That's the beauty of it. The young
lady's maid never reads anything--but Macbeth. ANNE I _can_ trust with
Faust. I read Lessing myself--and the Greek Testament (not the
Epistles--don't let me exaggerate)--with a bit of dry toast and a cup of
tea without a saucer or anything. I never sit down till the Easter
holidays--before breakfast--I ought to feel--what is it--PROUD. Dr.
Zerffi says he'll show A.B.'s papers at any University against the
first-class men--and they won't understand a word of them. What were
those girls when they came? There's the Duchess of Somerset's 15th coz
twice removed. _Its all blood._ My father drove four-in-hand down this
very hill in the old _coaching_ days (!!!)--and there's not another
school in England where the young ladies read Bopp before breakfast. But
the Vedas are a mine of--you know what--_Sanskrit_ is _English_--change
the letters and I could make myself understood by a Parsee better than
by half the young ladies of this establishment. We're all Indians!"

If her conversation is what it was--and _more so_, her hospitality,
her generosity--and her admirable management of the girls and the
house is as A1 as ever. I never saw a prettier, jollier, nicer set of
girls. H---- is growing _very_ charming, I think. I believe the secret
of her success, in spite of that extraordinary fitful intellect of
hers, is that one never learns anything _well_ but what one learns
_willingly_, and that she makes life so much more pleasant and
reasonable that the girls work themselves, and so get on.

It's getting late! Good-night. I wish we met oftener!

Ever your very loving sister,

Have you seen March _A.J.M._? I particularly want you to read a thing
of mine called "Our Garden." I'll send it if you can't get it.

_For Private Circulation Only._

(Oh, Charles! Charles!)

Time, 2 p.m. Julie in bed for the sake of "perfect quiet." M.M.
"without a moment to spare."

"I SEE I'm tiring you--I shall NOT stop--I haven't a moment--I can't
speak--I've given lessons on the mixed Languages this morning--and paid
all my bills--Mr. B---- has called--he's better-looking than I thought,
but too much hair--and the BREWER all over--you look very white--you're
killing yourself--why DO you DO it?--and U----'s as bad--I mean D----.
Dear me! what a pleasure it has been! When I THINK of Ecclesfield!!!!
You are NOT to kill yourself--I forbid it--why should you work for daily
bread as I have to do?--Our bread bill doesn't exceed £4 a week--I mean
a month--TEN pounds a month for groceries and wine--spirits we never
have in the house--you've seen all that we have--when I was senseless
and Dr. F---- called--when the other doctors came he left his card and
retired, but we've employed him since--he ordered gin cloths--they sent
out--when the bill came in I said Brown! BROWN! BROWN!!--_what's this?_
GIN! GIN! GIN! WHO'S 'ad GIN! They said YOU! Such is life!

"Dear, dear, IT is a pleasure to see you--but I see your head's bad and
I'm going--I MUST dress.--May I ring your bell for the maid--a black
silk, Julie, good and well cut is economical, my dear. No _underground
to Whiteley's_ for me! Lewis and Allenby--they dress me--I order
nothing--I know nothing--I haven't a rag of clothing in the world--they
line the bodices with silk and you can darn it down to the last--I eat
nothing--I drink nothing--I only _work_--I never sleep--I read German
classics in bed--Lessing--and the second part of Schiller's _Faust_--I
give lessons on it before breakfast in my dressing-gown--this morning
the young ladies hung on my lips--I _know_ the lesson was a good one--It
was the Sorrows of Goethe. Last week Dr. Zerffi said--'All religions are
one and one religion is all--particularly the Brahmas.' It was splendid!
and none of the young ladies knew it before they came. But Poor Mrs.
S----! She didn't seem one bit wiser. I sent him a Valentine on the
14th--designed by the young ladies. He said 'I _knew_ where it came
from--by the word BOPP. Zis is ze only establishment in England where
the word BOPP is known.' He's a great man--and the Teutonic element
_must_ prevail. The Kelts are very charming, but they will GO. We've the
same facial angle as the Hindoo, but poor Mrs. S---- can't see it. Dr.
A---- says I must have some sleep--so I've given up Sanscrit--You can't
do everything even in bed. And it's _English_ when all's done--and Brown
speaks it as well as I do!! _Go_ to India, Julie, if ever you have the
chance, and talk to the natives--they'll understand you. They understand
me. Signor Ricci sometimes does NOT. But then he speaks the modern--the
base--Italian, and _I_--the _classic_. He said, 'I do not understand
you, Mees M----.' I said, 'E vero, Signor--I know you don't. But that's
because I speak _classic_ Italian. All the organ-boys understand me.'
And he smiled. Dear, dear! How pleasant it is to see a Gatty--but I wish
you didn't look so white--when I see other people suffer, and think of
all the years of health I've enjoyed, I never can be thankful
enough--and when I've paid my monthly bills I'm the happiest woman in
England. When I think of how much I have and how little I deserve, I
don't know what to do but say my prayers. Dear, I'm sorry I told you
that story about X----. If she sent this morning for £10 I must let her
have it, if I had to go out and borrow it. I am going out--the Dr. says
I must. In the holidays I go on the balcony--and look down into the
street--and see the four-in-hands--and the policemen--and the han(d)som
cabmen (they're most of them gentlemen--and some of them Irish
gentlemen), and I say--'Such is life!' And poor Mrs. S---- says '_Is
it_, Miss M----?' and I know I speak sharply to her, which I should _not
do_. And I go into Kensington Gardens--and see the Princess--and the
Ducks in the water--and the little ragged boys going to bathe--and I say
'This is a glorious world!' I saw Lord--Lord--dear me! I know his name
as well as my own--Lord--Lord--Oh Lord! he believes in Tichborne--K----,
that's it--Lord K---- in the Row. He always asks after me. HE married a
woman--well. No more about that. He couldn't get a divorce. HER sister
married a parson. SHE was the mother of that poor woman--you know--who
was murdered by those people--THEY lived two streets off Derby
House--the brother--a handsome man--lived opposite Gipsey Hill Station.
You know _that_? _Well._ His wife had a bunch of curls behind (I hate
curls and bunches behind--keep your hair clean and put it up simply).
SHE--got off and so did HE. THEY--that's the parson and his wife--wrote
to Lord K---- and said 'Lady K---- is dead,' He said 'Then bury her.'
and he married again at once. SHE was a Miss A., and she said--'I marry
him because I've been told to'--but that's neither here nor there, and
these things occur. ANN! is that you? My dear, how black you are under
the eyes--DO, Julie, try and take better care of yourself--and _keep
quiet_. If I were Major Ewing I'd _thrash_ you if you didn't. Coming,
Ann!--What was it?--Oh, Lord K---- and Tichborne--well--just let me shut
the door. He IS Tichborne--but _he murdered him_. That's the secret.

"ANN! My black silk--go to my room--murdered who? why--_Castor_.

"Now try and get some sleep. If I find you with papers I'll _burn
them_. Oh! there go all the drags and Mr. M---- on the box--and there
go the 4.45, 5.15, and 5.25 to Baker St.--The days fly! But it's a
glorious life. Work! Work!--Keep quiet, dear--I shall be back


_"Sheffield House," New Quay, Dartmouth._
June 4, 1874.

... The above I find is our _correct_ address, though what I sent you
is all-sufficient, especially as you can't land without our seeing you
out of our window, as we are almost within speaking distance of the

From Exeter here the line is lovely. Half the way you run along the
shore. The fields ploughed and meadowed, and with trees, and cattle
come down to the shore. [_Sketch._]

TORBAY is in this line. The cliffs are a deep red sandstone,
the sky deep blue, and the fields deep green!! [_Sketch._]

At Dawlish, Torquay, etc. the jutting rocks of worn-away sandstone
mark the points of the little bays with fantastic looking shapes, like
petrified giants. [_Sketch._]

Looking back from Teignmouth is a very curious one on which the
sea-birds sit. Bless their noses! and their legs! How they do enjoy
the waves! [_Sketch._]

Those lazy ripples damp their boots so nicely!

In the Exeter Station sat a ---- [_Sketch_] Bull Dogue. O dear! He
looked so "savidge," and was so nervous; every train made him tremble
in every limb! I bought him a penny bun, but he was too nervous to
eat, though he looked very grateful. The porter promised me to give
him plenty of water, and as I gave the porter plenty of coppers I hope
he did!

Tell Stephen the flowers on the railway banks give you quite a turn!
Crimson, pale pink, and dead-white Valerian against a deep blue sky in
hot sunshine make one not know whether to PAINT or press!

As to Dartmouth itself it is a mixture of Matlock, Whitby and
Antwerp!!! The defect is it is really oil the river, not on the sea,
but the neighbouring bays are so get-at-able we have settled here. The
town is very old. Some of the streets, or rather terraces--if a
perfectly irregular perching and jumbling of houses up and down a
steep lull can be called a terrace--are very curious. [_Sketch._]

Flowers everywhere....


July 12, 1874.

Dr. Edghill preached a fine sermon this morning on "Friend! wherefore
art thou come?" Terribly didactic on the fate of Judas, but the
practical application was wonderful and _so_ like him! It being
chiefly on the "patient love of Christ." Quite merciless on Judas, and
on the coarseness, coldness and brutalness of betrayal by the
tenderest sign of human love. "But" (plunging head-first among the
Engineers!) "if there's any man sitting here with a heart and
conscience every bit as black as Judas's _in that hour_: to thee,
Brother, in this hour--in thy worst and vilest hour--Jesus
speaks--'_Friend!_--You may have worn out human love, you may try your
hardest to wear out Mine'"--(parenthesis to the A.S.C. and a nautical
_hitch_ of half his surplice)--("and we all try hard enough, _that's_
certain!)--'but _you never can_--Friend, still My Friend!'" (Pull up,
and obvious need of bronchial troches. Tonsure mopped and a
re-commencement.) "Then there's the appeal to the _conscience_ as well
as to the _heart_. _Wherefore art thou come?_ what art thou
about--what is thy object? I tell you what, I believe if Judas had
answered this in plain language to himself he would have stopped short
even then. And we should stop short of many a sin if we'd _face_ what
we're going to do" (Dangerous precipitation of the whole Chaplain at
the heads of the privates below.) "Some of you ask yourselves that
question to-day--this evening _as you're walking to Aldershot_,
'Wherefore am I come?' And don't let the Devil put something else into
your head, but just _answer it_," etc. etc.

He's not exactly an _equal_ or a _finished_ preacher for highly
educated ears, but that sort of transparent candour which he has makes
him _very_ affecting when on his favourite topic, the inexhaustible
love of God. His face when he quotes--"The Son of God Who loved _Me_
and gave Himself for _Me_," is like a man showing the Rock he has
clung to himself in shipwreck.


_X Lines._ July 22, 1874.


It was a _great_ disappointment not to see you! Now don't fail me next
week--you scoundrel! I want you _most_ particularly for most selfish
reasons. I am just taking my hero[38] into Victoria Docks, and want to
dip my brush in _Couleur locale_ with your help. Do come, and we'll go
up to London by _barge_ and sketch all the way!!! I know an A1
Bargemaster, and we can get beds at the inns _en route_. A two days'
voyage! Or we can go for a shorter period and come home by rail. It
won't cost us much.

[Footnote 38: "A Great Emergency," vol. xi.]

I am so glad to think of you in the dear _Old_--_New_ Forest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now mind you come--if only to see my Nelson (bureau) Relic!! It is
such a comfort to me and _my papers_!

Ever your most loving sister,


_X Lines, South Camp._ August 7, 1874.


I have begged the Tiger Tom for you!

He is the handsomest I ever saw, with such a head! His name is
_Peter_. [_Sketch._]

Nothing--I assure you, can exceed his beauty--or the depth of his

If I had not too many cats already I should have adopted Peter long
ago. We always quote William Blake's poem to him when we see him
prowling about our garden.

    "Tiger! Tiger! burning bright,
    In the forest of the night,
    What immortal Hand and Eye
    Framed thy fearful symmetry?"

Do you remember it?

I feel _quite a wretch_ not to like your "Ploughman"[39] as well as
usual. There is always poetry in your things, but TO ME the
_spirit_ of this one has not quite that reality which is the highest
virtue of "a sentiment"--or at least its greatest strength. But I may
be wrong. Only that kind of constant lifting of the soul from the
labour of daily drudgery to the Father of our spirits seems to me one
of the highest, latest, and most refined Christian Graces in natures
farthest removed from "the ape and tiger," and most at leisure for
contemplative worship. I know there are exceptions. Rural
contemplative saints among shepherds and ploughmen. But that the
agricultural labourer as a type seeks "Nature's God" at the
plough-tail and in the bosom of his family I fear is _not_ the
case--and it would be very odd if poverty and ignorance did lead to
such results, even in the advantages of an "open-air" life. Perhaps
Burns knew such a Cottar on Saturday Nights as he painted--he wasn't
_sick_ himself! unless you interpret _a neet wi' Burns_ by that
poem!--and there has been one contemplative Shepherd on Salisbury
Plain--though the proverb says--

    "Salisbury Plain
    Is seldom without a thief or twain."

--_not_ I believe supposed to refer to highwaymen!! and agricultural
labourers stand (among trades) statistically high (or low!) for the
crime of murder.

[Footnote 39: Sonnet by H.S. Elder, _Aunt Judy's Magazine_.]

But I won't inflict any more rigmarole on you, because of an obstinate
conviction _in my inside_ that dear Mother was right in the idea that
it is the learned--not the ignorant--who wonder, and that the
ploughman feels no wonder at all in the glory of the rising
sun--though YOUR mind might overflow with awe and admiration.
As to the last verse--that a "cot" should ever be "cheerful" which
"serves him for" washhouse, kitchen, nursery and all--is a triumph of
the "softening influence of use"--and I concede it to you! But where
"he reigns as a king his toils forgot" is, I am convinced, at the
Black Bull with highly-drugged beer!!!!!!

Now am I _not_ a Brute?

And yet it is _very_ pretty, and--strange to say--the class to whom I
believe it would be acceptable, is the class of whom I believe it is
not (typically) true, and PERHAPS it is good for every class
to have an _ideal_ of its own circumstances before its eyes. But I
don't think it is good for rich people's children to grow up with the
belief that twelve shillings a week, and cider and a pig, are the
wisest and happiest earthly circumstances in which humanity with large
families can be placed for their temporal and spiritual progress. I
don't think it ever leads to a wish in the young Squire to exchange
with Hodge for the good of his own soul, but I think it fosters a
fixed conviction that Hodge has nothing to complain of, _plus_ being
placed at a particular advantage as to his eternal concerns.

Will you ever forgive me? I like the descriptive parts so much, the
"rival cocks at dawn"--the "autumn's mist and spring's soft rain," the
team that "turn in their trace in the furrow's face," and the
life-like descriptions in verse 4. It is as true to one's observation
as it is graceful....

Your loving niece,


_Ecclesfield._ May 14, 1876.

[_Sketch._] Do you remember Whitley Hall? I used to be so fond of the
place when I was a child, and no one lived there but an old woman--old
Esther Woodhouse--with a face like an ideal witch--at the lodge. As
you know I always hated _writing down_--but long before I accomplished
a tale on paper I wrote a novel _in my head_ to Whitley Hall, and used
to walk about in the wood there, by the pond--_to think it_!

_York._ February 23, 1879.

... Yesterday was sunny though cold, and I had a delicious drive to
Escrick and Naburn. Oh, it _does_ send thrills of delight through me,
when the hay-coloured hedge-grass begins to mix itself with green, and
the hedges have a very brown-madderish tint in the sun, and all the
trunks of all the old trees are far greener than the fields, and the
earth is turned over, and the rooks hold Parliaments.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_York._] Easter Day, 1879.

... I went to Church at S. John's, Mr. Wilberforce's Church; I had
never been in it. That window with S. Christopher, and those strange
representations of the Trinity, and the five Master Yorkes kneeling
all in blue on one side, and their four sisters on the other, is very
wonderful. One of the most wonderful. How fascinating these dear old
churches are! Mr. Wilberforce has a fine voice, a most rich and
flexible baritone, and sings ballads with a great deal of taste and
expression. I shall for ever love York and its marble-white walls and
dear old churches, but "Benedetta sia 'l giorno e 'l mese e 'l anno,"
when you set your face with your black poodle towards the island
called Melita! This north-east wind which still blows _cruelly_ would
have made you very ill, I think....

I must tell you of another thing. On Thursday I went to the Blind
School to a concert. I went rather against my will, for you know I was
sadly impressed before by their _very_ unhealthy and miserable look,
but oh, dear, they do sing well! and it was very affecting. One of the
Barnbys teaches them. They have a good organ, and one of the blind men
played very well. They sang very refinedly. No doubt they are well
taught, but no doubt also the sense of hearing is delicate with

_Frimhurst._  April 18, 1879.

I got here safely yesterday, though I had a horrid headache on
Wednesday, and expected to arrive here in very bad condition. I felt
rather bad yesterday morning, but as I drew near, marvellous to
relate, my headache went away! Oh! I thought so much of you, as the
misty network of pines against the sky--the stretches of moor--the
flashes of the canal--and all the dear familiar Heimath Land came
nearer and nearer....

It is still "chill April" even here, but wonderfully different from
Yorkshire. Sunshine--and green things so much more forward--and birds
singing their very throats out.

"Lion," the mastiff, I am rather frightened of, but he loves me and
gives me paws over and over again. He is pawing me now and will

April 22.

The weather is intensely cold again, though nothing can make this
country quite dreary--but cold it is! Still there are all the dear old
features, I did not know the Mitchett side (of the Frimhurst bridge)
of the canal; but I have been a good way down getting water-weeds--but
of course you know it well. It is curiously like bits of the S. John
[New Brunswick] River. One could almost see birch-bark canoes at

To-day the Jelfs came. It was an affecting meeting, our first since
he was so ill in Cyprus, and he said, "It used to seem so little
likely one would ever again see the old faces."... He spoke at once
about your calling this country Heimath Land, saying it seemed the
very word.

I am going on Thursday to stay with the Jelfs till Monday; I shall be
so thankful to get a Sunday in the old Tin Tabernacle.

_K Lines, South Camp, Heimath Land._
April 25.

It is a sunny sweet day, so that I have been strolling about in the
garden without a jacket. It is strangely pleasant being here, the old
scenes without, and all Sir Howard Elphinstone's pretty things within.
The Jelfs are staying in the Elphinstones' hut. In the matter of
pictures I do not always agree with Sir Howard, but his decorative
taste is very good, and the things he has picked up in all parts of
the world are delightful. "Et ego, etc." We have things and things as
it is, and shall pick up more! He is so very ingenious, and has made a
dado over the mantelpiece, with a white or coloured border on which he
puts pictures and photographs; in the centre is a square of coloured
material with other things mounted on it. I foresee making a similar
design for our Malta mantelpiece, with a gold Maltese cross in the
centre and tiles round illustrating the eight Beatitudes....

I am intensely enjoying this bit here. Yesterday the Jelfs and the
boys and I had a long wander by the canal where the larches and the
birches are getting their tenderest tints on.... On Thursday evening I
went to the Tin Church, with the old bell _tankling_ as I went in, and
the mess bugles tootling afar as I came out. Bell the schoolmaster and
baritone started as if I were a ghost, and sent me a book for the
special hymn. Not a soul in the officers' seats--but a good choir and
a very fair congregation of men and barrack families. Said I to
myself, "I've been living in wealthy Bowdon and in ecclesiastical
York, and not had this. Well done--the Tug of War and the Tin
Tabernacle and the Camp! and unpaid soldiers and their sons to sing
the Lord's Song in the land of their pilgrimage!"

To-day I went with Mrs. Jelf to a meeting at the Club House about
"Coffee Houses." When we got in a "rehearsal" (dramatic) was going on,
and the chaff was "Have you come for the rehearsal or the
coffee-house?" We "Coffee-housers" adjourned to the Whist Room. Sir
Thos. Steele in the chair. I had a long chat with him. He says Music
and the Drama have declined dreadfully. The meeting was full of
friends. "Mat Irvine" nearly wrung my hand off, and I sat by poor
Knollys, who is heart-broken at the death of that dear little soul,
Captain Barton. It was a first-rate meeting, mixed military and
Aldershot tradesmen--a very "nice feeling" displayed--altogether it
was wonderfully pleasant.

_Exeter._ May 16, 1879.

... The weather alternates here between North-Easters and mugginess, and
I have never slept without fires yet. All the same I have had some
lovely _drives_, which you know are so good for me. When Mrs. Fox
Strangways couldn't go the Colonel has taken me alone 12 or 14 miles in
the dog-cart with a very "free-going" but otherwise prettily-behaved
little mare named Daphne. The tumbledown of hills and dales is very
pretty here, and the deep red of the earth, and the whitewashed and
thatched cottages. Very pretty bits for sketching if it had been

I hope to get several things done in London. Jean Ingelow has burst
out rather about my writings, and wants me to do something "in the
style of Madam Liberality," and let her try to get it into _Good
Words_, as she thinks I ought to try for a wider audience. I shall
certainly go and see her, and talk over matters.... I was _very_ much
pleased Sir Anthony Home had been so much pleased with "Jan." To draw
tears from a V.C. and a fine old Scotch medico is very gratifying!
Capt. Patten said their own Dr. Craig had also been delighted with it.
When "We and the World" is done I mean to rest well on my oars, and
then try and aim at something to give me a better footing if I

June 14, 1879.

... I am getting as devoted to Browning as you. It is very funny--this
sudden and simultaneous light on him!

May 23, 1879.


Forty-four of these aquatic plant tubs stand in one part of the back
premises of Clyst S. George Rectory, full of truly wondrous varieties.
The above is a thing like white tassels and purple-pink buds. Fancy
how I revel in them, and in the garden, which holds 1640 species of
herbaceous perennials all labelled and indexed!! The old Rector (he is
89) is as hard at it as ever. He is so pleased to be listened to, and
it is enormously interesting though somewhat fatiguing, and leaves me
no time whatever for anything else! My brain whirls with tiles,
mosaics, tesseræ, bell-castings, bell-marks, and mottos, electros,
squeezes, rubbings, etc., etc. His latest plant fad is Willows and
Bamboos, of which he has countless kinds growing and flourishing!!! He
is infirm, but it is very grand to see life rich with interests, and
with work that will benefit others--so near the grave!

We'd a funny scene this morning when I went over the church with him,
and had to write my name in the book.

Very testily--"The _date_, my dear, put the date!"

"I have put it."

More testily at being in the wrong--"Then put your address, put your

I hesitated, and he threw up his hands: "Bless me! you've not got one.
It has always puzzled me so what made _you_ take a fancy to a

He had been very full of all kinds of ancient Church matters--a
wonderful bell dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in a very remarkable
inscription, etc.,--so I seized the pen and wrote--_Strada Maria
Stella, Malta_--and "I du thenk" (as they say here) it will
considerably puzzle the old sexton!!!!!

Soon after sunrise on Ascension Day I was woke clear and clean by the
bells _breaking into song_. You know campanology is his great hobby.
They rang changes, with long pauses between. Bells often try me very
much, at Ecclesfield _par exemple_, but I really enjoyed these....

May 24, 1879.

... A very pathetic bit of private news of poor little MacDowell. He
was sent by the General to tell them to strike the tents, and was
urging on the ammunition to the front, and encouraging the bandsmen to
carry it, when a Zulu shot him. A good and not painful end--God bless
him! The Capt. Jones who told this, said also that one little bugler
killed three big Zulus with his side-arms before he fell! Also that a
private of the 24th saved Chard's life at Rorke's Drift by pushing his
head down, so that a bullet went over it!

_Woolwich._ Whit Monday, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

Don't think you have all the picturesque beggars to yourself! Out in a
street of Woolwich with Mrs. O'Malley the other day I saw
this--[_Sketch._] The eyes though very clear and intense-looking
decided me at once the man was blind, though he had no dog, and was
only walking solemnly on, with a _carved fiddle_ of white wood under
his arm! I ran back after him, and went close in front of him. He
gazed and saw nothing. Then I touched him and said, "Are you blind?"
He started and said, "Very nearly." I gave him a penny, for which he
thanked me, and then I asked about the fiddle. He carved and made it
himself out of firewood in the workhouse! The _handle part_ (forgive
my barbarism!) is "a bit of ash." It was much about the level of North
American Indian _art_, but very touching as to patient ingenuity. He
asked if anybody had told me about him. I said, "No. But I've a
husband who plays the fiddle," and I gave him the balance of my loose
coppers! He said, "Have you? He plays, does he? Well. This has been a
lucky day for me." He was a shipwright--can play the piano, he
says--lives in the workhouse in winter and comes out in summer--with
the flowers--and his fiddle! I knew you would like me to give
something to that _povero fratello_.

_Woolwich._ June 6, 1879.

... _The_ painter of the Academy this year is Mrs. Butler!! I do hope
some day somewhere you may see _The Remnants of an Army_ and _Recruits
for the Connaught Rangers_. The first is in the _Academy Notes_, which
I send you. The second is at least as fine. [_Sketch._] The landscape
effect is the opal-like sky and bright light full of moisture after
rain--heavy clouds hang above--the mountains are a leaden blue--and
the sky of all exquisite pale shades of bright colour. Down the wet
moor road comes the group. Two very tall, dark-eyed Connaught
"boys"--one with a set face and his hands in his pockets looking
straight out of the picture--the other with a yearning of Keltic
emotion looking back at the hills as if his heart was breaking. The
strapping young sergeant looks very grave; but an "old soldier" behind
is lighting his pipe, and a bugler is holding back a dog. One of the
best faces is that of the drummer who walks first, and whose
13-year-old face is so furrowed about the brow with oppressive
anxiety--very truthful!

_The Remnants of an Army_ is of course overpowering by the mere
subject, and it is nobly painted. The man and his horse are wonderful
alike. There is nothing to touch these two. But I _would_ like to
steal Peter Graham's _The Seabirds' Resting-Place_. Such penguins
sitting on wet rocks with wet Fucus _growing on_ them! Such myriads
more in the _sea-mist_ that hides the horizon-line--sitting on distant
rocks!--and _such_ green waves--by the light of a sunbeam into one of
which you see Laminaria fronds and lumps of Fucus tossing up and down.
You feel wet and ozoney to come near it! There are some very fine
men's portraits, and Orchardson's _Gamblers Hard Hit_ is the best
thing of his, I think, that I know....

... There is a very beautiful old gun in the Arsenal upon a
gun-carriage with wheels thus [_Sketch_], and with bas-reliefs of St.
Paul and the Viper. It is needless to say the gun came from the island
called Melita! But for cunning workmanship and fine bold designs and
delicate execution the Chinese guns are the ones! I am taking rubbings
of the patterns for decorative purposes! They were taken in the war.

There is yet one picture I must tell you of--"_A Musical Story by
Chopin_"--the boy playing to a group of lads and a tutor. His utterly
absorbed face is _admirable_. It is a very pretty thing. Not
marvellous, but very good.

August 5, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must tell you that it is _on the cards_ that Caldecott is going to
do a coloured picture for me _to write to_, for the October No. of
_A.J.M._ (so that it will bind up with the 1879 volume and be the
Frontispiece). He is so fragile he can't "hustle," but he wants to do
it. D---- and he became great friends in London, and I think now he
would help us whenever he could. We have been bold enough to "speak
our minds" pretty freely to him, about wasting his time over
second-rate "society" work for _Graphic_, etc., etc., when he has such
a genius to interpret humour and pathos for good writers, and no real
writing gifts himself. (He has done some things called _Flirtation in
France_, supplying both letter-press and sketches!--that are terrible
to any one who has gone heart and soul into his House that Jack
built!!!) I've told him frankly if he "_draws down to me_" in the
hopes of making _my_ share easy by making his commonplace, and gives
me a "rising young family in sand-boots and frilled trousers with an
over-fed mercantile mamma," my "few brains will utterly congeal," but
I have made two suggestions to _him_, so closely on his own lines that
if hints help him I think he would find it easy. You know _horses_ are
really his spécialité. I have asked him to give me a coloured thing
and one or two rough sketches, Either

  An Old Coaching Day's Idyll
or--A Trooper's Tragedy.

The same beginning for either:

Child learning to ride on
                  etc.   etc.

Then (if coaching) an old haunted-looking posting-house on a coaching
road (Hog's Back!)--a highwayman--a broken-down postilion--a girl on a
pillion, etc., etc.

Or, if military:

A yokel watching a cavalry regiment in Autumn Manoeuvres over a

A Horse and Trooper--Riding for life (here or Hereafter!) with another
man across his saddle.

Of course it may only hamper him to have hints (I've not heard yet),
but I hope anyhow he'll do something for me.

       *       *       *       *       *

August 9, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was reading again at _Robert Falconer_ the other day. What _grand_
bits there are in it? With such _bosh_ close by. So like Ruskin in
that, who is ever to me a Giant, half of gold and half of clay!

When G, Macdonald announces (by way of helping one to help the
problems of life!) that the Gospel denounces the sins of the rich, but
nowhere the sins of the poor, one wonders if he "has his senses," or
knows anything about "the poor." "The Gospel" is pretty plain about
drunkards, extortioners, thieves, murderers, cursers, and revilers,
false swearers, whoremongers, and "all liars"--I wonder whether these
trifling vices are confined to the Upper Ten Thousand!

But oh, that description to the _son_ of what it sounded like when
_his father_ played the _Flowers of the Forest_ on his fiddle, isn't
to be beaten in any language I believe! All the Scotch lasses after
Flodden doing the work of an agricultural people in the stead of the
men who lay on Flodden Field!--"Lasses to reap and lasses to
bind--Lasses to stook." etc., etc., and "no a word I'll warrant ye, to
the orra lad that didna gang wi' the lave"!!!![40] and the lad's
outburst in reply, "I'd raither be gratten for nor kissed!"

[Footnote 40: _Robert Falconer_, chap. xix.]

Poor Z----! They don't teach that at Academies and Staff Colleges, nor
in the Penny-a-line of newspaper correspondents and the like--but he
should get some woman to soak it into his brains that the men women
will love are men who would rather be "gratten for" in honour than be
kissed in shame.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ecclesfield._ August 23, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

Talking of drawings, what do you think? Caldecott has done me the most
_lovely_ coloured thing to write a short tale to for October _A.J.M._
It is very good of him. He has simply drawn what I asked, but it is
quite lovely!

A village Green, sweet little old Church, and house and oak tree,
etc., etc. in distance, a small boy with aureole of fair hair on a
red-haired pony, coming full tilt across it blowing a penny trumpet
and scattering pretty ladies, geese, cocks and hens from his path. His
dog running beside him! You will be delighted!

       *       *       *       *       *

September 1, 1879.

I have done my little story to Caldecott's picture, and I have a
strong notion that it will please you. It is called "Jackanapes."... I
shall be so _disappointed_ if you don't like "Jackanapes." But I think
it is just what you will like!! I think you will cry over him!

September 19, 1879.

Isn't it a great comfort that I have finished the serial story, and
"Jackanapes"?--so that I am now quite free, and never mean to write
against time again. I know you never cared for the serial; however, it
is done, and tolerably satisfactory I think. "Jackanapes" I do hope
you will like, picture and all. C---- sent Mr. Ruskin "Our Field," and
I am proud to hear he says it is not a mere story--it's a poem! Great
praise from a great man!

October 11, 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was knocked up yesterday in a good cause. We went to see Mr. Ruskin
at Herne Hill. I find him _far_ more _personally_ lovable than I had
expected. Of course he lives in the incense of an adoring circle, but
he is absolutely unaffected himself, and with a GREAT charm.
So much gentler and more refined than I had expected, and such clear
Scotch turquoise eyes.

He had been out to buy buns and grapes for _me_ (!), carrying the buns
home himself very carefully that they might not be crushed!! We are so
utterly at one on some points: it is very delightful to hear him talk.
I mean it is uncommonly pleasant to hear things one has long thought
very vehemently, put to one by a Master!! _Par exemple._ You know my
mania about the indecent-cruel element in French art, and how the
Frenchiness of Victor Hugo chokes me from appreciating him: just as we
were going away yesterday Mr. Ruskin called out, "There is something I
MUST show Aunt Judy," and fetched two photos. One, an old
court with bits of old gothic tracery mixed in with a modern
tumbledown building--peaceful old doorway, wild vine twisting up the
lintel, modern shrine, dilapidated waterbutt, sunshine straggling
in--as far as the beauty of contrast and suggestiveness and form and
(one could fancy) colour could go, perfect as a picture. (R---- didn't
say all this, but we agreed as to the obvious beauty, etc.) Then he
brought out the other photo, and said, "but the French artist cannot
rest with that, it must be heightened and stained with blood," and
there was the court (photo from a French picture), with two children
lying murdered in the sunshine.

Another point we met on was my desire to write a tale on Commercial
Honour. He was delighted, and will I think furnish me with "tips." His
father was a merchant of the old school. And then to my delight I
found him soldier-mad!! So we got on very affably, and I hope to go
and stay there when I go home next summer.

       *       *       *       *       *

November 7, 1879.

Friends are truly kind. Miss Mundella sent two season tickets for the
Monday "Pop." to D---- and me. I managed to go and stay for most of
it. Norman Neruda, Piatti, and _Janotha_--have you heard Janotha play
the piano? I think she is _very_ wonderful. It is so absolutely
without affectation, and so _selfless_, and yet such a mastery of the
instrument. Her _rippling_ passages are like music writ in water, and
she has a singing touch too, and when she accompanies, the
subordination and sympathy are admirable. She is not pretty, nor in
any way got up, but is elfish and quaint-looking, and quite young. We
sat quite near to Browning, who is a nice-looking old man,
delightfully _clean_. He seemed to delight in Neruda and Piatti, and
followed the music with a score of his own.

_Ecclesfield._ Saturday, January 31, 1880.

How beautiful a day is to-day I cannot tell you! It does refresh
me!... Head and spine very shaky this morning so that I could not get
warm; but I wrapped in my fur cloak, and went out into the sunshine,
up and down, up and down the churchyard flags. A sunny old kirkyard is
a nice place, I always think, for aged folk and invalids to creep up
and down in, and "Tombstone Morality" isn't half as wearing to the
nerves as the problems of _life_!...

       *       *       *       *       *

_Greno House_, Tuesday.

Harry Howard drove me up yesterday. It was _just_ as much as I could
bear; but I lay on the sofa till dinner, and went to bed at eight, and
though my head kept me awake at first, I did well on the whole.
Breakfast in bed, a bigger one than I have eaten for three weeks, and
since then I have had an hour's drive. The roughness of the roads is
unlucky, but the air _divine_! Such sweet sunshine, and Greno Wood,
with yellow remains of bush and bracken, and heavy mosses on the
sandstone walls, and tiny streams trickling through boggy bits of the
wood, and coming out over the wall to overflow those picturesque stone
troughs which are so oddly numerous, and which I had in my head when I
wrote the first part of "Mrs. Overtheway."

       *       *       *       *       *

January 11, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

Very dear to me are all your "tender and true" regards for the old
home--the grey-green nest (more grey now than green!) a good deal
changed and weatherbeaten, but not quite deserted--which is bound up
with so much of our lives! It is one of the points on which we feel
very much alike, our love for things, and places, and beasts!!!
Another chord of sympathy was very strongly pulled by your writing of
the "grey-green fields," and sending your love to them. No one I ever
met has, I think, _quite_ your sympathy with exactly what the external
world of out-of-doors is to me and has been ever since I can
remember. From days when the batch of us went-out-walking with the
Nurses, and the round moss-edged holes in the roots of gnarled trees
in the hedges, and the red leaves of Herb Robert in autumn, and all
the inexhaustible wealth of hedges and ditches and fields, and the
Shroggs, and the brooks, were happiness of the keenest kind--to now
when it is as fresh and strong as ever; it has been a pleasure which
has balanced an immense lot of physical pain, and which (between the
affectation of the sort of thing being fashionable--and other people
being destitute of the sixth sense to comprehend it--so that one feels
a fool either way)--one rarely finds any one to whom one can
comfortably speak of it, and be _understanded_ of them. It is the one
of my peculiarities which you have never doubted or misunderstood ever
since we knew each other! I fancy we must (as it happens) _see_ those
things very much alike. That grey-green winter tone (for which I have a
particular love) has been "on my mind" for days, and it was odd you
should send your love to it. Don't think me daft to make so much of a
small matter, I am sure it is not so to me. It is what would make me
_content_ in so many corners of the world! And I thought when I read
your letter, that if we live to be old together, we have a common and
an unalienable source of "that mysterious thing felicity" in any small
sunny nook where we may end our days--so long as there is a bit of
yellow sandstone to glow, or a birch stem to shine in the sun!...

[_Grenoside._] February 21, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

I whiled away my morning in bed to-day by going through the _Lay of
the Last Minstrel_. There are lovely bits in it.

Reading away at Mrs. Browning lately has very much confirmed my notion
that the fault of her things is lack of condensation. They are almost
without exception too long. I doubt if one should ever leave less than
fifty per cent. of a situation to one's readers' own imagination, if
one aims at the highest class of readers. That swan song to Camöens
from his dying lady would have been very perfect in FIVE
verses. As it is, one gets tired even of the exquisite refrain
"Sweetest eyes, were ever seen" (an expression he had used about her
eyes in a song, and which haunts her).

The other night we had Sergeant Dickinson up. He has lately settled in
the village. He was in the Light Cavalry Charge at Balaklava (17th
Lancers), and also at Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol. He has also the
Mutiny Medal and Good Conduct and Service one, so he is a good
specimen. Curious luck, he never had a _scratch_ (!). Says he has had
far "worse wounds" performing in Gyms., as he was a good swordsman,
etc. He told us some _dear_ tales of old Sir Colin Campbell. He said
his men idolized him, but their wives rather more so, and if any of
them failed to send home remittances, the spouses wrote straight off
to Sir Colin, who had up "Sandy or Wully" for remonstrance, and
stopped his grog "till I hear again from your wife, man."

On one occasion he saw a drummer-boy drunk, and a sergeant near. Sir
Colin: "Sergeant, does yon boy belong to your company?"

Sergeant: "He does not, sir."

"Does he draw a rum allowance?"

"He does, sir."

"Well, away to the Captain of his company, and say it's my orders that
the oldest soldier in this bairn's company is to draw his rum, till he
feels convinced it's for the lad's benefit that he should tak it
himsel'--and that'll not be just yet awhile I'm thinking."

Some brilliant tales too of the wit and gallantry of Irish comrades,
several of whom wore the kilt. And almost neatest of all, a story of
coming across a fellow-villager among the Highlanders:

"But I were fair poozled He came from t' same place as me, and a
clever Yorkshireman too, and he were talking as Scotch as any of 'em.
So I says, 'Why I'm beat! what are YOU talking Scotch for,
and you a Knaresborough man?' 'Whisht! whisht! Dickinson,' he says,
'we mun A' be Scotch in a Scotch regiment--or there's no

February 19, 1880.

I have been re-reading the _Legend of Montrose_ and the _Heart of
Midlothian_ with _such_ delight, and poems of both the Brownings, and
Ruskin, and _The Woman in White_, and _Tom Brown's Schooldays_, etc.,
etc.!!! I have got two volumes of _The Modern Painters_ back with me
to go at.

What a treat your letters are! Bits are _nearly_ as good as being
there. The sunset you saw with Miss C----, and the shadowy groups of
the masquers below in the increasing mists of evening, painted itself
as a whole on to my brain--in the way _scenes_ of Walter Scott always
did. Like the farewell to the Pretender in _Red Gauntlet_, and the
black feather on the quicksand in _The Bride of Lammermuir_.

March 1, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ball must have been a grand sight, but I think, judging from the
list, that your dress as Thomas the Rhymer stands out in marked
_individuality_. Nothing shows more how few people are at all
_original_ than the absence of any thing striking or quaint in most of
the characters assumed at a Fancy Ball. This, however, is Pampering
the Pride of you members of the Mutual Admiration Society. You must
not become cliquish--no not Ye Yourselves!!!!

Above all _you_ must never lose that gracious quality (for which I
have so often given you a prize) of patience and sympathy with small
musicians and jangling pianos in the houses of kind and hospitable
Philistines. Besides, I like you to be largely gracious and popular.
All the same I confess that it is a grievance that music (and sherry!)
are jointly regarded as necessary to be supplied by all hosts and
hostesses--whether they can give you them good or not! People do not
cram their bad drawings down your throats in similar fashion, Still
what is, is--and Man is more than Music--and I have never felt the
real mastership you hold in music more than when you have beaten a
march out of some old tub for kindness' sake with a little gracious
bow at the end! Don't you remember my telling you about that wisp of
an organist whom Mr. R---- petted till he didn't know his shock head
from his clumsy heels, and the insufferable airs he gave himself at
their party over the piano, and the audience, and the lights, and
silence, and what he would or would not play to the elderly merchants.
And of all the amateur-and-water performances!!! I have heard enough
good playing to be able to gauge him!...

Incapacity for every other kind of effort is giving me leisure for a
feast of reading and _re-reading_ such as I have not indulged for
years. Amongst other things I have read for the first time Black's
_Strange Adventures of a Phaeton_--it is _very_ charming indeed, and
if you haven't read it, some time you should. As a rule I detest
German heroes _to English books_, but Von Rosen is irresistible! and
the refrain outbreaks of his jealousy are really high art, when he
unconsciously brings every subject back to the original motif--"but
that young man of Twickenham--he is a most pitiful fellow--" you feel
Dr. Wolff was never more simply sincere and self-deluded, than Von
Rosen's belief that it is an abstract criticism. Also you know how
tedious broken English in a novel is, as a rule. But Black has very
artistically managed his hero's idioms so as to give great effect. And
as we have a brain wave on about Womanhood you may like, as much as I
have, V. Rosen's sketch of English women (to whom he gives the palm
over those of other nations). Speaking of some others--"very nice to
look at perhaps, and very charming in their ways perhaps, but not
sensible, honest, frank like the English woman, _and not familiar with
the seriousness of the world, and not ready to see the troubles of
other people_. But your English-woman _who is very frank to be
amused_, and can enjoy herself when there is a time for that, who is
_generous in time of trouble and is not afraid_, and can be firm and
active and yet very gentle, and who does not think always of herself,
but is ready to help other people, and can look after a house and
manage affairs--that is a better kind of woman I think--more to be
trusted--more of a companion--oh, there is no comparison!"

It is very good, isn't it?--and he is mending the fire during this
outburst, and keeps piling coal on coal as he warms with his subject.

I must also just throw you two quotations from Macaulay's most
interesting _Life and Letters_. Quotations within quotations, for they
are extracts.

    "Antoni Stradivari has an eye
    That winces at false work and loves the true."


                      "There is na workeman
    That can both worken wel and hastilie
    This must be done at leisure parfaitlie."


By the bye, the italics in Black's quotations are _mine_. Good wording
I think.

But how one does go back with delight to Scott! I confess I think to
have written the _Heart of Midlothian_ is to have put on record the
existence of a moral atmosphere in one's own nation as grand as the
ozone of mountains. WHAT a contrast to that of French novels
(with no disrespect to the brilliant art and refreshing brain
quickness of the latter); but Ruskin's appeal to the responsibility of
those who wield Arts instead of Trades recurs to one as one under
which Scott might have laid his hand upon his breast, and looked
upwards with a clear conscience....

March 16, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

I quite agree with you about an artlessness and roughness in Scott's
work. I thought what I had dwelt on was the magnificent _tone_ of the
_H. of Midlothian_. Also he has two of the first (first in rank and
order if not first in degree) qualifications for a writer of
fiction--Dramatism and individuality amongst his characters. He had
(rather perhaps one should say), the quality which is _nascitur non
fit_--Imagination. It is the great defect, _I think_, of some of our
best modern writers. They are marvellously FIT and terribly
little NASCITUR. It is why I can never concede the highest
palm in her craft to G. Eliot. Her writing is glorious--Imagination

She draws people she has seen (Mrs. Poyser) like a photograph--she
imagines a Daniel Deronda, and he is about "as natural as waxworks."

"I've been reading Jean Ingelow's _Fated to be Free_ lately, and it is
a marvellous mixture of beauty and failure. But _lovely_ passages.
Incisive as G. Eliot, and from the point of view of a tenderer mind
and experience. This is beautiful, isn't it?

"Nature before it has been touched by man is almost always beautiful,
strong, and cheerful in man's eyes; but nature, when he has once given
it his culture and then forsaken it, has usually an air of sorrow and
helplessness. He has made it live the more by laying his hand upon it
and touching it with his life. It has come to relish of his humanity,
and it is so flavoured with his thoughts, and ordered and permeated by
his spirit, that if the stimulus of his presence is withdrawn it
cannot for a long while do without him, and live for itself as fully
and as well as it did before."

The double edge of the sentiment is very exquisite, and the truth of
the natural fact very perfect as observation, and the book is full of
such writing. But oh, dear! the confusion of plot is so maddening you
have a delirious feeling that everybody is getting engaged to his
half-sister or widowed stepmother, and keep turning back to make sure!
But the dramatism is very good and leads you on....

March 22, 1880.

... I am getting you a curious little present. It is Thos. À Kempis's
_De Imitatione Christi_ in Latin _and Arabic_. A scarce edition
printed in Rome. I think you will like to have it. That old Thomas was
much more than a mere monk. A man for all time, his monasticism being
but a fringe upon the robe of his wisdom and _honest_ Love of God. It
will be curious to see how it lends itself to Arabic. Well, I fancy.
Being in very proverbial mould. Such verses as this (I quote roughly
from memory):

"That which thou dost not understand when thou readest thou shalt
understand in the day of thy visitation: for there be secrets of
religion which are not known till they be felt and are not felt but in
the Day of a great calamity!" (a piece of wisdom with application to
other experiences besides religious ones). I think this will read well
in the language of the East. As also "In omnibus rebus Respice Finem,"

       *       *       *       *       *


I am quite foolishly disappointed. The À Kempis is gone already! It is
a new Catalogue, and I fancied it was an out-o'-way chance. It seems
Ridler has no other Arabic books whatever. He may not have known its
value. It "went" for six shillings!!!

       *       *       *       *       *


_131, Finborough Road, South Kensington._
March 23, 1880.


I thank you with all my heart for the gift of your book,[41] and yet
more for the kindly inscription, which affected me much.

[Footnote 41: _The Book of Job_, translated from the Hebrew Text by
John, Bishop of Fredericton.]

As one gets older one feels distance--or whatever parts one from
people one cares for--worse and worse, I think!--However, whatever
helps to remedy the separation is all the dearer!

I had devoured enough of your notes, to have laughed more than once
and almost to have heard you speak, before I moved from the chair in
which the book found me, and had read all the Introduction. I could
HEAR you say that "Bildad uttered a few trusims in a pompous

What I have read of your version seems to me grand, bits here and
there I certainly had never felt the poetical power of before. Rex
will be delighted with it!

I fully receive all you say about Satan and the Sons of God. But I
think a certain painfulness about such portions of Holy Writ--does not
come from (1) Unwillingness to lay one's hand upon one's mouth and be
silent before God. (2) Or difficulty about the Personality of Satan. I
fancy it is because in spite of oneself it is painful that one of the
rare liftings of the Great Veil between us and the "ways" of the
Majesty of God should disclose a scene of such petty features--a sort
of wrangling and experimentalizing, that it would be _pleasanter_ to
be able to believe was a parable brought home to our vulgar
understandings rather than a real vision of the Lord our Strength.

I am, my dear Lord,
Your grateful and ever affectionate old friend,


_Fredericton._ April 8, 1880.


I will not let the mail go out without proving that I am not a bad
correspondent, and without thanking you for your delightful letter.
Oh! why don't you squeeze yourself sometimes into that funny little
house opposite Miss Bailey's, and let me take a cup of tea off the
cushions, or some other place where the books would allow it to be
put? And why don't you allow me to stumble over my German? And why
doesn't Rex, Esq. (for Rex is too familiar even for a Bishop) correct
my musical efforts? How terrible this word _past_ is! The past is at
all events _real_, but the future is so shadowy, and like the ghosts
of Ulysses it entirely eludes one's grasp. I speak of course of things
that belong to this life. It was (I assure you) a treat to lay hold of
you and your letters, and (a minor consideration) to find that even
your handwriting had not degenerated, and had not become like spiders'
legs dipped in ink and crawling on the paper, as is the case of some
nameless correspondents. There was only one word I could not make out.
In personal appearance the letters stood thus, _[Greek: us]_. It looks like
"us," or like the Greek _[Greek: un]_, which being interpreted is
"pig." But M----, who is far cleverer than I am, at once oracularly
pronounced it "very," and I believe her and you too....

I was greatly tickled in your getting _amusement_ out of "Job," the
last book where one would have expected to find it; but stop--I
recollect it is out of _me_, not the patriarch, that you find
something to smile at, and no doubt you are right, for no doubt I say
ridiculous things sometimes. _Au sérieux_, it pleases me much that you
enter into my little book, and evidently have _read_ it, for I have
had complimentary letters from people who plainly had not read a word,
and to the best of my belief never will. I wish you had been more
critical, and had pointed out the faults and defects of the book, of
which there are no doubt some, if not many, to be found. I flatter
myself that I have made more clear some passages utterly
unintelligible in our A.V., such as, "He shall deliver the island of
the innocent, yea," etc., chap. xxii. 30, and chap, xxxvi. 33, and the
whole of chap. xxiv. and chap. xx. What a fierce, cruel, hot-headed
Arab Zophar is! How the wretch gloats over Job's miseries. Yet one
admires his word-painting while one longs to kick him! I am glad to
see the _Church Times_ agrees with me in the early character of the
book. There is not a trace in it of later Jewish history or feeling.
The argument on the other side is derived from Aramaic words only,
which words are not unsuitable to a writer who either lived, _or had
lived_ out of Palestine, and scholars agree now that they may belong
either to a very late or a very early time, and are used by people
familiar with the cognate languages of the East.

A word about your very natural feeling on the subject of Satan. I
suppose that Inspiration does not interfere with the character of mind
belonging to the inspired person. The writer thinks Orientally, within
the range of thought common to the age, and patriarchal knowledge, so
that he could neither think nor write as S. Paul or S. John, even
though inspired. We criticize his writing (when we do criticize it)
from the standpoint of the nineteenth century, _i.e._ from the
accumulated knowledge, successive revelations, and refined
civilization of several thousand years.

Its extreme simplicity of description may appear to us trivial. But is
not the fact indubitable that God tries us as He did Job, though by
different methods? And is not our Lord's expression, "whom Satan hath
bound, lo! these eighteen years," and S. Paul's, "to deliver such an
one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh," analogous to the
account in Job? One has only to try to transfer oneself to the
patriarchal age, when there was no Bible, no Lord Jesus come in the
flesh, but when at intervals divine revelations were given by personal
manifestations and then withdrawn, and to take out of oneself all one
has known about God from a child, to view the account as an Oriental
would look at it, not as a Western Christian. The "experiment" (so to
speak) involves one of the grandest questions in the world--Is
religion only a refined selfishness, or is there such a thing as real
faith and love of God, apart from any temporal reward? The devil
asserts the negative and so (observe) do Job's so-called friends; but
Job proves the affirmative, and hence amidst certain unadvised
expressions he (in the main) speaks of God the thing that is right.

I do not know that there is in the early chapters anything that can be
called "petty," more than in the speech of the devils to our Lord,
and His suffering them to go into the swine.

We must, however, beware that we do not, when we say "petty," merely
mean at bottom what is altogether different from our ordinary notions,
formed by daily and general experience of life, as we ourselves find

All this long yarn, and not a word about your health, which is
shameful. We both do heartily rejoice that you are better, and only
hope for everybody's sake and your own, you will nurse and husband
your strength....

Your affectionate old friend,


April 10, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

The night before last I dined with Jean Ingelow. I went in to dinner
with Alfred Hunt (a water-colour painter to whose work Ruskin is
devoted). A _very_ unaffected, intelligent, agreeable man; we had a
very pleasant chat. On my other side sat a dear old Arctic Explorer,
old _Ray_. I fell quite in love with him, and with the nice Scotch
accent that overtook him when he got excited. Born and bred in the
Orkneys, almost, as he said, _in the sea_; this wild boyhood of
familiarity with winds and waves, and storms and sports, was the
beginning of the life of adventure and exploration he has led. He told
me some very interesting things about Sir John Franklin. He said that
great and good as he was there were qualities which he had not, the
lack of which he believed cost him his life. He said Sir John went
well and gallantly at his end, if he could keep to the lines he had
laid down; but he had not "fertility of resource for the unforeseen,"
and didn't _adapt_ himself. As an instance, he said, he always made
his carriers _march_ along a given line. If stores were at A, and the
point to be reached B, by the straight line from A to B he would send
the local men he had _hired_ through bog and over boulder, whereas if
he said to any of them, "B is the place you must meet me at," with
the knowledge of natives and the instinct of savages they would have
gone with half the labour and twice the speed. He said too that
Franklin's party suffered terribly because none of his officers were
_sportsmen_, which, he said, simply means starvation if your stores
fail you. We had a long talk about scientific men and their
_deductions_, and he said quaintly, "Ye see, I've just had a lot of
rough expeerience from me childhood; and things have happened now and
again that make me not just put implicit faith in all scientific
dicta. I must tell you, Mrs. Ewing, that when I was a young man, and
just back from America and the Arctic Regions, where I'd lived and
hunted from a mere laddie, I went to a lecture delivered by one of the
verra _first_ men of the day (whose name for that reason I won't give
to ye) before some three thousand listeners and the late Prince
Consort; and there on the table was the head and antlers of a male
reindeer--beasts that, as I'm telling ye, I knew _sentimately_, and
had killed at all seasons. And this man, who, as I'm telling ye, was
one of the verra furrrst men of the day (which is the reason why I'm
not giving ye his name) spoke on, good and bad, and then he said,
'Ladies and gentlemen, and your Royal Highness, be good enough to look
at the head of this Reindeer. Here ye see the antlers,' and so forth,
'and ye'll obsairve that there's a horn that has the shape of a shovel
and protrudes over the beast's eyes in a way that must be horribly
inconvenient. But when ye see its shape, ye'll perceive one of the
most beautiful designs of Providence, a _proveesion_ as we may say;
for this inconvenient horn is so shaped that with it the beast can
shovel away the deep winter snow and find its accustomed food.'

"And when I heard this I just shook with laughing till a man I knew
saw me, and asked what I was laughing at, and I said, 'Because I
happen to know that the male reindeer _sheds its antlers_ every year
in the beginning of November, _snow shovel_ and all, and does not
resume them till spring.'"!!!!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

April 26, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

Curious your writing to me about Dante's Hell--and Lethe. Two books in
my childhood gave the outward and visible signs of that inward and
spiritual interest in Death and the Life to Come which is one of the
most vehement ones of childhood (and which breaks out QUITE
as strongly in those who have been carefully brought up apart from
"religious convictions" as in those whose minds have been soaked in
them). One was Flaxman's _Dante_, the other Selous's illustrations in
the same style to the _Pilgrim's Progress_. I do not know whether I
suffered more in my childhood than other children. Possibly, as my
head was a good deal too big for my body! But I remember two troubles
that haunted me. One that I should get tired of Eternity. Another that
I couldn't be happy in Heaven unless I could _forget_. And in this
latter connection I loved indescribably one of Flaxman's best designs.
[_Sketch._] I can't remember it well enough to draw decently, but this
was the attitude of Dante whom Beatrice was just laving in the Waters
of Forgetfulness before they entered Paradise.

And even more fond was I of the passing of the great river by
Christiana and her children, and by that mixed company of the brave
and the weak, the young and the old, the gentle and the
impatient,--and that grand touch by which the "Mr. Ready-to-Halt" of
the long Pilgrimage crossed the waters of Death without fear or

       *       *       *       *       *

Why should you think I should differ with Dante in his estimate of
sin? I doubt if I could rearrange his Circles, except that "Lust" is a
wide word, as = Passion I should probably leave it where it is; but
there are hideous forms of it which are inextricably mingled, if not
identical with Cruelty,--and Cruelty I should put at the lowest round
of all.

_Clyst S. George._ April 30, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have had rather a chaff with Mr. Ellacombe (who in his ninety-first
year is as keen a gardener as ever!) because he has many strange sorts
of _Fritillary_, and when I told him I had seen and gone wild over a
sole-coloured pale yellow one which I saw exhibited in the
Horticultural Gardens, he simply put me down--"No, my dear, there's no
such thing; there's a white Fritillary I can show you outside, and
there's _Fritillaria Lutea_ which is yellow and spotted, but there's
no such plant as you describe." Still it evidently made him restless,
and he kept relating anecdotes of how people are always sending him
_shaves_ about flowers. "I'd a letter the other day, my dear, to
describe a white Crown Imperial--a thing that has _never been_!" Later
he announced--"I have written to Barr and Sugden--'Gentlemen! Here's
another White Elephant. A lady has seen a sole-coloured Yellow

This morning B. and S. wrote back, and are obliged to confess that "a
yellow Fritillary has been produced," but (not being the producers)
they add, "It is not a good yellow." _Pour moi_, I take leave to judge
of colours as well as Barr and Sugden, and can assure you it is a very
lovely yellow, pale and chrome-y. It has been like a chapter out of
Alphonse Karr!

One of the horticultural papers is just about to publish Mr.
Ellacombe's old list of the things he has grown in his own garden.
Three thousand species!

       *       *       *       *       *

I hope you liked that _Daily Telegraph_ article on the Back Gardener I
sent you? It is really fine workmanship in the writing line as well as
being amusing. I abuse the Press often enough, but I will say such
Essays (for they well deserve the name) are a great credit to the
age--in Penny Dailies!!!

"The Nursery Nonsense of the Birds," "A Stratified Chronology of
Occupancies," "Waves of Whims," etc., etc., are the work of a man who
can use his tools with a master's hand, or at least a _skilled_

I am reading another French novel, by Daudet, _Jack_. So far (as I
have got) it is marvellous _writing_. "Le petit Roi--Dahomey" in the
school "des pays chauds" is a Dickenesque character, but quite
marvellous--his fate--his "gri-gri"--his final Departure to the land
where all things are so "made new" that "the former" do not "come into
mind"--having in that supreme hour _forgotten_ alike his sufferings,
his tormentors, and his friends--and only babbling in Dahomeian in
that last dream in which his spirit returned to its first earthly home
before "going home" for Good!--is superb!!! The possible meanness and
brutality of civilized man in Paris--the possible grandeur and obvious
immortality of the smallest, youngest, "gri-gri" worshipping nigger of
Dahomey oh it is wonderful altogether, and I should fancy
SUCH a sketch of the _incompris_ poet and the rest of the
clique!! "_C'est_ LUI."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ecclesfield, Sheffield._ July 23, 1880.


I am sending you a number of "Jackanapes" in case you have lost your

I have made marks against places from some of which I think you could
select easy scenes; I mean easy in the sense of being on the lines
where your genius has so often worked.

I will put some notes about each at the end of my letter. What I now
want to ask you is whether you _could_ do me a few illustrations of
the vignette kind for "Jackanapes," so that it might come out at
Christmas. Christmas _ought_ to mean October! so it would of course be
very delightful if you could have completed them in September--and as
soon as might be. But do not WORRY your brain about dates. I
would rather give it up than let you feel the fetters of Time, which,
when they drag one at one's work, makes the labour double. But if you
will begin them, and _see_ if they come pretty readily to your
fingers, I shall only too well understand it if after all you can't
finish in time for this season!

In short I won't press _you_ for all my wishes!--but I do feel rather
disposed to struggle for a good place amongst the hosts of authors who
are besetting you; and as I am not physically or mentally well
constituted for surviving amongst the fittest, if there is _much
shoving_ (!) I want to place my plea on record.

So will you try?--

       *       *       *       *       *

It was very kind of you and your wife to have us to see your sketches.
I hope you are taking in ozone in the country.

Yours ever,


Respectfully suggested scenes to choose from.

Initial T out of the old tree on the green, with perhaps _to secure
portrait_ the old POSTMAN sitting there with his bag _à la_
an old Chelsea Pensioner.

1. A lad carrying his own long-bow (by regulation his own height) and
trudging by his pack-horse's side, the horse laden with arrows for
Flodden Field (September 9, 1513). Small figures back view (!) going
westwards--poetic bit of moorland and sky.

2. If you _like_--a portrait of the little Miss Jessamine in Church.

3 to 5. You may or may not find some bits on page 706, such as the
ducking in the pond of the political agitator (very small figures
including the old Postman, ex-soldier of Chelsea Pensioner type). Old
inn and coach in distance, geese (not the human ones) scattered in the

The Black Captain, with his hand on his horse's mane, bigger--(so as
to secure portrait) and vignetted if you like; or _small_ on his horse
stooping to hold his hand out to a child, Master Johnson, seated in a
puddle, and Nurses pointing out the bogy; or standing looking amused
behind Master Johnson (page 707).

6. Pretty vignetted portrait of the little Miss J., three-quarter
length, about size of page 29 of _Old Christmas_. Scene, girl's
bedroom--she with her back to mirror, face buried in her hands,
"crying for the Black Captain"; her hair down to just short of her
knees, the back of her hair catching light from window and reflected
in the glass. Old Miss Jessamine (portrait) talking to her "like a
Dutch uncle" about the letter on the dressing-table; aristocratic
outline against window, and (as Queen Anne died) "with one finger
up"!!!!! (These portraits would make No. 2 needless probably.)

7. Not worth while. I had thought of a very small quay scene with
slaves, a "black ivory"--and a Quaker's back! (Did you ever read the
correspondence between Charles Napier and Mr. Gurney on Trade and

8. A very pretty elopement please! Finger-post pointing to
Scotland--Captain _not_ in uniform of course.

9 or 10--hardly; too close to the elopement which we _must_ have!

11. You are sure to make that pretty.

12. Might be a very small shallow vignette of the field of Waterloo. I
will look up the hours, etc., and send you word.

13. As you please--or any part of this chapter.

16. I mean a tombstone like this [_Sketch of flat-topped tombstone_],
very common with us.

17, 18. I leave to you.

19 or 20, might suit you.

21. Please let me try and get you a photo of a handsome old general!!
I think I will try for General MacMurdo, an old Indian hero of the
most slashing description and great good looks.

22. I thought some comic scene of a gentleman in feather-bed and
nightcap with a paper--"Rumours of Invasion" conspicuous--might be
vignetted into a corner.

23 might be fine, and go down side of page; quite alone as vignette,
or distant indication of Jackanapes looking after or up at him.

24. Should you require military information for any scene here?

25-26. I hope you could see your way to 26. Back view of
horses--"Lollo the 2nd" and a screw, Tony lying over his holding on by
the neck and trying to get at his own reins from Jackanapes' hand.
J.'s head turned to him in full glow of the sunset against which they
ride; distant line of dust and "retreat" and curls of smoke.

The next chapter requires perhaps a good deal of "war material" to
paint with, and strictly soldier-type faces.

27. The cobbler giving his views might be a good study with an
advertisement somewhere of the old "souled and healed cheap."

28. This scene I think you might like, and please on the wall have a
hatchment with "Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori" (excuse my bad
Latinity if I have misquoted).

29 would make a pretty scene, I think, and

30 would make me too happy if you scattered pretty groups and back
views of the young people, "the Major" and one together, in one of
your perfect bits of rural English summer-time.

If there _were_ to be a small vignette at the end, I should like a
wayside Calvary with a shadowy Knight in armour, lance in rest,
approaching it from along a long flat road.

Now please (it is nearly post time!) forgive how very badly I have
written these probably confusing suggestions. I am not very well, and
my head and _thumb_ both fail me.

If you can do it, do it as you like. I will send you a photo of an
officer who will do for the Black Captain, and will try and secure a
General also. If you could lay your hands on the Illustrated Number
that was "extra" for the death of the Prince Imperial--a R.A. officer
close by the church door, helping in one end of the coffin, is a very
typical military face.

Yours, J.H.E.


July 30, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh, with what sympathy I hear you talk of Shakespeare. Nay! not Dante
and not Homer--not Chaucer--and not Goethe--"not Lancelot nor another"
are really his peers.

Here blossom sonnets that one puts on a par with his--there, _in
another man's_ work the illimitable panorama of varied and life-like
men and women "merely players," may draw laughter and tears (Crabbe,
and much of Dickens and other men, and Don Quixote). His coarse wit
and satire and shrewdness, when he is least pure, may I suppose find
rivals in some of the eighteenth or seventeenth century English
writers, and in the marvellous brilliancy of French ones. When he is
purest and highest I cannot think of a Love Poet to touch him.
Tennyson perhaps nearest. But _he_ seems quite unable to fathom the
heart of a noble woman with any _strength_ of her own, or any
knowledge of the world. "Enid" is to me intolerable as well as the
degraded legend it was founded on. Perhaps the brief thing of Lady
Godiva is the nearest approach, and Elaine faultless as the picture of
a maiden-heart brought up in "the innocence of ignorance." But he can
write fairly of "fair women." Scott runs closer, but his are paintings
from without. "Jeanie Deans" is bad to beat!!

Shelley comes to his side when _weirdness_ is concerned.

    "Five fathom deep thy father lies," etc.,

is run hard by--

    "Its passions will rock thee
      As the storms rock the ravens on high:
    Bright reason will mock thee,
      Like the sun from a wintry sky.

    From thy nest every rafter
      Will rot, and thine eagle home
    _Leave thee naked to laughter,
      When leaves fall and cold winds come._"

But I will not bore you with comparisons. My upshot is that no one of
the many who may rival him in SOME of his perfections, COMBINE them all
in ONE genius. In all these philosophizing days--who touches him in
philosophy? From the simplest griefs and pleasures and humanity at its
simplest--Macduff over the massacre of his wife and children--to all
that the most delicate brain may search into and suffer, as Hamlet--or
the ten thousand exquisite womanish thoughts of Portia, a creature of
brain power and feminine fragility--

"By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary of this great world."

       *       *       *       *       *


_Greno House, Grenoside, Sheffield._
Aug. 3, 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

_À propos_ of my affairs ... next year we might do something with some
of my "small gems." Don't _you_ like "Aldegunda" (Blind Man and Talking
Dog)? D. does so much. Do you like the "Kyrkegrim turned Preacher,"
"Ladders to Heaven," and "Dandelion Clocks"?...

... As you know, these _little_ things are the chief favourites with
my more educated friends, whose kindness consoles me for the much
labour I spend on so few words (The "Kyrkegrim turned Preacher" was
"in hand" two years!!!), and I think their only chance would be to be
so dressed and presented as to specially and downrightly appeal to
those who would value the Art of the Illustrator, and perhaps
recognize the refinement of labour with which the letter-press has
been ground down, and clipped, and condensed, and selected--till, as
it would appear to the larger buying-public, there is _wonderfully
little left you for your money_!!...

Poor old Cruikshank! How well--and willingly--he would have done
"Kyrkegrim turned Preacher." He said, when he read my things, "the
Fairies came and danced to him"--which pleased me much.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yesterday I pulled myself together and wrote straight to the printers,
to the effect that the suffering the erratic and careless printing of
"We and the World" cost me was such that I was obliged to protest
against X. and Sons economizing by using boys and untrained incapables
to print (printing from print being easier, and therefore adapted for
teaching the young P.D. how to set up type), pointing out one sentence
in which (clear type in _A.J.M._) the words "insist on guiding my fate
by lines of their own ruling" was printed to the effect that they
wouldn't insist on _gilding_ my _faith_, etc., _their_ being changed
to _there_. All of which the _reader_ had overlooked--to concern
himself with my Irish brogue--and certain _reiterations of words_
which he mortally hates, and which I regard the chastened use of, as
like that of the _plural of excellence_ in Hebrew!

(He would have put that demoniacal mark [symbol: checkmark]
against one of the summers in "All the fragrance of summer
when summer was gone"!!!)

I sent SUCH a polite message PER X. to his reader,
thanking him much for trying to mend my brogue (which had already
passed through the hands of three or four Irishmen, including Dr.
Todhunter and Dr. Littledale), but proposing that for the future we
should confine ourselves to our respective trades,--That the printer
should print from copy, and not out of his own head--that the reader
should read for clerical errors and bad printing, which would leave me
some remnant of time and strength to attend to the language and
sentiments for which I alone was responsible. My dear love, I must

Ever your devoted,


_Farnham Castle, Surrey._
Oct. 10, 1880.


"_Oct. 9._--Passed an ill night, and did early resolve to send a
carrier pigeon unto the Castle to notify that I must lie where I was,
being unable to set forward. But on rising I found myself not so ill
that I need put others to inconvenience; so I did but order a cab and
set forth at three in the afternoon, in pouring rain. My hostess sent
with me David her footman, who saved me all trouble with my luggage,
and so forth from Frimley to Farnham. A pause at the South Camp
Station, dear familiar spot, a little before which the hut where my
good lord lay before we were married loomed somewhat drearily through
the mist and rain. At Farnham the Lord Bishop's servitor was waiting
for me, and took all my things, leading me to a comfortable carriage
and so forth to the Castle.

Somewhat affrighted at the hill, which is steep, and turns suddenly;
but recovered my steadfastness in thinking that no horses could know
the way so well as these.

The Bishopess and her daughter received me on the stair-case, and we
had tea in the book-gallery, a most pleasing apartment.

Thence to my room to rest till dinner. It is a mighty fine apartment,
vast and high, with long windows having deep embrasures, and looking
down upon the cedars and away over the whole town, which is a pretty

Methinks if I were a state prisoner, I would fain be imprisoned in an
upper chamber, looking level with these same cedar-branches, whereon,
mayhap, some bird might build its nest for mine entertainment.

Dinner at 8.15. Wore my ancient brocade newly furbished with
olive-green satin, and tinted lace about my neck, fastened with a
brooch made like to a Maltese Cross, green stockings and shoes
embroidered with flowers.

Was taken down to dinner by Sir Thos. Gore Browne, an exceeding
pleasant old soldier, elder brother to the Bishop,--having before
dinner had much talk with his Lordship, whom I had not remembered to
have been the dear friend of our dear friend the Lord Bishop of
Fredericton, when both prelates were curates in Exeter."

       *       *       *       *       *

I am very much enjoying my visit to this dear old Castle. They are
superabundantly kind! After the evening yesterday everybody, visitors
and family, all trooped into the dimly-lighted chapel for Evening
Prayer. They sang "Jerusalem the Golden," and Gen. Lysons sang away
through his glass, in his K.C.B. star, and came up to compliment me
about it afterwards....

October 22, 1880.

Yesterday was Trafalgar Day. About half-a-dozen old Admirals of ninety
and upwards met and dined together! I don't know what I would not have
given to have been present at that most ghostly banquet! How like a
dream, a shadow, a bubble, a passing vapour, and all the rest of it,
must life not have seemed to these ex-midshipmen of the _Victory_ and
the _Téméraire_! muffling their poor old throats against this sudden
frost, and toddling to table, and hobnobbing their glass in
old-fashioned ways to immortal memories,

            "here in London's central roar,
    Where the sound of those, he wrought for,
    And the feet of those he fought for,
    Echo round his bones for Evermore!"

The cold is sudden and most severe. I fear it will hustle some of
those dear old Admirals to rejoin their ancient comrade--the "Saviour
of the silver-coasted isle."

       *       *       *       *       *

May 1881.

    "The Harbour Bay was clear as glass--
    So smooth--ly was it strewn!
    And on--the Bây--the moonlight lay
    And--the--Shad--ow of--the Moon!"

--thus was it at 11 p.m. on the night of the 4th of May, when I looked
out of my bedroom window at Plâce Castle, Fowey, on the coast of
Cornwall!!!!--(and we must also remember that Isolde was married to
the King of Cornwall, and lived probably in much such a place as

       *       *       *       *       *

I caught a train on to Fowey, which I reached about 5. There I found a
brougham and two fiery chestnuts waiting for me, and after some
plunging at the train away went my steeds, and we turned almost at
once into the drive. There is no park to Plâce that I could see, but
the drive is _sui generis_! You keep going through _cuttings_ in the
rock, so that it has an odd feeling of a drive _on the stage_ in a
Fairy Pantomime. On your right hand the cliff is _tapestried_, almost
hidden, by wild-flowers and ferns in the wealthiest profusion!
Unluckily the wild garlic smells dreadfully, but its exquisite white
blossoms have a most aërial effect, with pink campion, Herb Robert,
etc., etc. On the left hand you have perpetual glimpses of the harbour
as it lies below--oh, _such_ a green! I never saw such before--"as
green as em-er-âld!"--and the roofs of the ancient borough of
Fowey!--I hope by next mail to have photographs to send you of the
place. It perpetually reminded me of the Ancient Mariner. As to Plâce
(P. Castle they call it now), the photographs will really give you a
better idea of it than I can. You must bear in mind that the harbour
of Fowey and a castle, carrying artillery, have been in the hands of
the Treffrys from time immemorial.... We went over the Church, a fine
old Church with a grand tower, standing just below the Castle. The
Castle itself is chiefly Henry VI, and Henry VII. I never saw such
elaborate stone carving as decorates the outside. There are beautiful
"Rose" windows close to the ground, and the Lilies of France, of
course, are everywhere. The chief drawing-room is a charming room,
hung with pale yellow satin damask, and with beautiful Louis Quinze
furniture. The porphyry hall is considered one of _the_ sights, the
roof, walls, and floor are all of red Cornish porphyry....

_Frimhurst_, May 10, 1881.

I have been into the poor old Camp. I will tell thee. Did you ever
meet Mr. F., R.E.? a young engineer of H.'s standing, and his chief
friend. A Lav-engro (Russian is his present study) with a nice taste
in old brass pots and Eastern rugs, and a choice little book-case, and
a terrier named "Jem "--the exact image of dear old "Rough." He asked
us to go to tea to see the pictures you and I gave to the Mess and so
forth. So the General let us have the carriage and pair and away we
went. It _is_ the divinest air! It was like passing quickly through
BALM of body and mind. And you know how the birds sing, and
how the young trees look among the pines, and the milkmaids in the
meadows, and the kingcups in the ditches, and then the North Camp and
the dust, and Sir Evelyn Wood's old quarters with a new gate, and then
the racecourse with polo going on and more dust!--and then the R.E.
theatre (where nobody has now the spirit to get up any theatricals!),
and the "Kennêl" (as Jane Turton called it) where I used to get flags
and rushes, and where Trouvé, dear Trouvé! will never swim again! And
then the Iron Church from which I used to _run_ backwards and forwards
not to be late for dinner every evening, with the "tin" roof that used
to shake to the "Tug of War Hymn,"--and then more dust, and (it must
be confessed) dirt and squalor, and _back views_ of ashpit and
mess-kitchens and wash-houses, and turf wall the grass won't grow on,
and rustic work always breaking up! and so on into the R.E. Lines! Mr.
F. was not quite ready for us, so we drove on a little and looked at
No. 3. N. Lines. T.'s hut is nearly buried in creepers now. An _Isle
of Man_(do you remember?) official lives there, they say; but it
looked as if only the Sleeping Beauty could. Our hut looks just the
same. Cole's greenhouse in good repair. But through all the glamour of
love one could see that there _is_ a good deal of dirt and dust, and
refuse and coal-boxes!!!

Then a bugle played!--

     "The trumpet blew!"

I _think_ it was "Oh come to the Orderly Room!" _We_ went to the
Mess. The Dining-Room is much improved by a big window, high pitched,
opposite the conservatory. It is new papered, prettily, and our
pictures hang on each side of the fireplace. Mr. G. joined us and we
went into the Ante-Room. Then to the inevitable photo books, in the
window where poor old Y. used to sit in his spotless mufti. When G.
(who is not _spirituel_) said, turning over leaves for the young
ladies, "that and that are killed" I turned so sick! Mac G. and Mac
D.! Oh dear! There be many ghosts in "old familiar places." But I have
no devouter superstition than that the souls of women who die in
childbed and men who fall in battle go straight to Paradise!!!
Requiescant in Pace.

Then to tea in Mr. F.'s quarters next to the men. Then--now mark you,
how the fates managed so happy a coincidence--G. said casually, "I saw
Mrs. Jelf in the Lines just now!" I nearly jumped out of my boots, for
I did not know she had got to England. Then F. had helped to nurse
Jelf in Cyprus and was of course interested to see her, so out went G.
for Mrs. J., and anon, through the hut porch in she came--Tableau--!

Then I sent the girls with Messrs F. and G. to "go round the stables,"
and M. and _Jem_ and I remained together. Jem went to sleep (with one
eye open) under the table, and the sun shone and made the roof very
hot, and outside--"The trumpets blew!"

It was an afternoon wonderfully like a Wagner opera, thickset with
recurring _motifs_....

_Frimhurst._ June 15, 1891.

       *       *       *       *       *

The old editions of Dickens are here, and I have been re-reading
_Little Dorrit_ with keen enjoyment. There is a great deal of poor
stuff in it, but there is more that is first-rate than I thought. I
had quite forgotten Flora's enumeration of the number of times Mr. F.
proposed to her--"seven times, once in a hackney coach, once in a
boat, once in a pew, once on a donkey at Tunbridge Wells, and the rest
on his knees." But she is very admirable throughout.

I've also been reading some more of that American novelist's work,
Henry James, junior,--_The Madonna of the Future_, etc. He is not
_great_, but very clever.

Used you not to like the first-class Americans you met in China very
much? It is with great reluctance--believing Great Britons to be the
salt of the earth!!--but a lot of evidence of sorts is gradually
drawing me towards a notion that the best type of American Gentleman
is something like a generation ahead of our gentlemen in his attitude
towards women and all that concerns them. There are certain points of
view commonly taken up by Englishmen, even superior ones, which always
exasperate women, and which seem equally incomprehensible by American
men. You will guess the sort of things I mean. I do not know whether
it is more really than the _élite_ of Yankees (in which case we also
have our _ámes d'élite_ in chivalry)--but I fancy as a race they seem
to be shaking off the ground-work idea of woman as the lawful
PREY of man, who must keep Mrs. Grundy at her elbow, and
_show cause why she shouldn't be insulted_. (An almost exclusively
_English_ feeling even in Great Britain, I fancy. By the bye, what odd
flash of self-knowledge of John Bull made Byron say in his will that
his daughter was not to marry an Englishman, as either Scotch or
Irishmen made better husbands?)...

July 6, 1881.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Academy this year is very fine. Some truly beautiful things. But
before one picture I stood and simply laughed and shook with laughing
aloud. It is by an Italian, and called "A frightful state of things."
It is a baby left in a high chair in a sort of Highland cottage, with
his plate of "parritch" on his lap--and every beastie about the place,
geese, cocks, hens, chicks, dogs, cats, etc., etc., have invaded him,
and are trying to get some of his food. The painting is exquisite, and
it is the most indescribably funny thing you can picture: and so like
dear Hector, with one paw on little Mistress's eye eating her

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ecclesfield._ August 24, 1881.

... André has made the "rough-book" (water colours) of "A week spent
in a Glass Pond, By the Great Water Beetle." I only had it a few
hours, but I scrambled a bit of the title-page on to the enclosed
sheet of green paper for you to see. It is entirely in colours. The
name of the tale is beautifully done in letters, the initials of which
_bud and blossom_ into the Frogbit (which shines in white masses on
the Aldershot Canal!) [_Sketch._] To the left the "Water Soldier"
(_Stratiotes Aloides_) with its white blossoms. At the foot of the
page "the Great Water Beetle" himself, writing his name in the
book--_Dyticus Marginalis_. There is another blank page at the
beginning of the book, where the beetle is standing blacking himself
in a penny ink-pot!!!! and another where he is just turning the leaves
of a book with his antennæ--the book containing the name of the
chromolithographers. He has adopted almost all my ideas, and I told
him (though it is not in the tale) "I should like a _dog_ to be with
the children in all the pictures, and a cat to be with the old
naturalist,"--and he has such a dog (a white bull terrier) [_sketch_],
who waits on the woodland path for them in one picture, _noofles_ in
the colander at the water-beasts in another, examines the beetle in a
third, stands on his hind legs to peep into the aquarium in a fourth,
etc. But I cannot describe it all to you. I have asked to have it
again by and by, and will send you a coloured sketch or two from it. I
am so much pleased!... Perhaps the best part of the book is _the
cover_. It is very beautiful. The Bell Glass Aquarium (lights in the
water beautifully done) carries the title, and reeds, flowers, newts,
beetles, dragon-flies, etc., etc., are grouped with wondrous fancy!
This entirely his own design....

_Jesmond Dene, Newcastle-on-Tyne._
August 30, 1881.

       *       *       *       *       *

The four Jones children and their nurse are in lodgings at a place
called Whitley on the coast, not far from here. Somebody from here
goes to see them most days. To-day Mrs. J. and I went. As we were
starting dear "Bob" (the collie who used to belong to the
Younghusbands) was determined to go. Mrs. Jones said No. He bolted
into the cab and crouched among my petticoats; I begged for him, and
he was allowed. At the station he was in such haste he _would_ jump
into a 2nd class carriage, and we had hard work to get him out. (This
_is_ rather funny, because she usually goes there 2nd class with the
children: and he looked at the 1st and would hardly be persuaded to
get in.) Well, the coast is rather like Filey, and such a wind was
blowing, and _such_ white horses foamed and fretted, and sent up
wildly tossed fountains of foam against the rocks, and such grey and
white waves swallowed up the sands! I ran and played with the children
and the dog--and built a big sand castle ("Early English if not Delia
Cruscan"!!), and by good-luck and much sharp hunting among the
storm-wrack flung ashore among the foam, found four cork floats, and
made the children four ships with paper sails, and had a glorious dose
of oxygen and iodine. How strange are the properties of the invisible
air! The air from an open window at Ecclesfield gives me neuralgia,
and doubly so at Exeter. To-day the wild wind was driving huge tracts
of foam across the sands in masses that broke up as they flew, and
driving the sand itself after them like a dust-storm. I could barely
stand on the slippery rocks, and yet my teeth seemed to _settle in my
jaws_ and my face to get PICKLED (!) and comforted by the
wild (and very cold) blast.... Now to sweet repose, but I was obliged
to tell you I had been within sound of the sea, aye! and run into and
away from the waves, with children and a dog. This is better than a
Bath Chair in Brompton Cemetery!...

_Thornliebank, Glasgow._ September 8, 1881.

... "It is good to be sib to" kindly Scots! and I am having a very
pleasant visit. You know the place and its luxuries and hospitalities

I came from Newcastle last Friday, and (in a good hour, etc.) bore more
in the travelling way than I have managed with impunity since I broke
down. I came by the late express, got to Glasgow between 8 and 9 p.m.,
and had rather a hustle to to get a cab, etc. A nice old porter (as
dirty and hairy as a Simian!) secured one at last with a cabby who
jabbered in a tongue that at last I utterly lost the running of, and
when he suddenly (and as it appeared indignantly!) remounted his box,
whipped up, and drove off, leaving me and my boxes, I felt inclined to
cry(!), and said piteously to the porter, "What _does_ he say? I
_cannot_ understand him!" On which the old Ourang-Outang began to pat me
on the shoulder with his paw, and explain loudly and slowly to my
Sassenach ears, "He's jest telling ye--that 't'll be the better forrr
ye--y'unnerstan'--to hev a caaaab that's got an i(ro)n railing on the
tôp of it--for the sake of yourrr boxes." And in due time I was handed
over to a cab with an iron railing, the Simian left me, and so friendly
a young cabby (also dirty) took me in hand that I began to think he was
drunk, but soon found that he was only exceedingly kind and lengthily
conversational! When he had settled the boxes, put on his coat, argued
out the Crums' family and their residences, first with me and then with
his friends on the platform, we were just off when a thought seemed to
strike him, and back he came to the open window, and saying "Ye'll be
the better of havin' this ap"--scratched it up from the outside with
nails like Nebuchadnezzar's. Whether my face looked as if I did not like
it or what, I don't know, but down came the window again with a rattle,
and he wagged the leather strap almost in my face and said, "there's
_hôals_ in't, an' ye can jest let it down to yer own satisfaction if ye
fin' it gets clos." Then he rattled it up again, mounted the box, and
off we went. Oh, _such_ a jolting drive of six miles! Such wrenching
over tramway lines! But I had my fine air-cushions, and my spine must
simply be another thing to what it was six months back. Oh, he was
funny! I found that he did NOT know the way to Thornliebank, but having
a general idea, and a (no doubt just) faith in his own powers, he swore
he did know, and utterly resented asking bystanders. After we got far
away from houses, on the bleak roads in the dark night, I merely felt
one must take what came. By and by he turned round and began to retrace
his steps. I put out my head (as I did at intervals to his great
disgust; he always pitched well into me--"We're aal right--just
com--pôse yeself," etc.), but he assured me he'd only just gone by the
gate. So by and by we drew up, no lights in the lodge, no answer to
shouts--then he got down, and in the darkness I heard the gates grating
as if they had not been opened for a century. Then under overhanging
trees, and at last in the dim light I saw that the walls were broken
down and weeds were thick round our wheels. I could bear it no longer,
and put out my head again, and I shall never forget the sight. The moon
was coming a little bit from behind the clouds, and showed a court-yard
in which we had pulled up, surrounded with buildings in ruins, and
overgrown with nettles and rank grass. We had not seen a human being
since we left Glasgow, at least an hour before,--and of all the places
to have one's throat cut in!! The situation was so tight a place, it
really gave one the courage of desperation, and I ordered him to drive
away at once. I believe he was half frightened himself, and the horse
ditto, and never, never was I in anything so nearly turned over as that
cab! for the horse got it up a bank. At last it was righted, but not an
inch would my Scotchman budge till he'd put himself through the window
and confounded himself in apologies, and in explanations calculated to
convince me that, in spite of appearances, he knew the way to
Thornliebank "pairfeckly well." "Noo, I do beg of ye not to be
narrrr-vous. Do NOT give way to't. Ye may trust me entirely. Don't be
discommodded in the least. I'm just pairfectly acquainted with the road.
But it'll be havin' been there in the winter that's just misled me. But
we're aal right." And all right he did eventually land me here! so late
J. had nearly given me up.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Greno House, Grenoside, Sheffield._
October 26, 1881.


       *       *       *       *       *

D. says you would like some of the excellent Scotch stories I heard
from Mr. Donald Campbell. I wish I could take the wings of a swallow
and tell you them. You must supply gaps from your imagination.

They were as odd a lot of tales as I ever heard--_drawled_ (oh so
admirably drawled, without the flutter of an eyelid, or the quiver of
a muscle) by a Lowland Scotchman, and queerly characteristic of the
Lowland Scotch race!!!! Picture this slow phlegmatic rendering to your
"mind's eye, Horatia!"

A certain excellent woman after a long illness--departed this life,
and the Minister went to condole with the Widower. "The Hand of
affliction has been heavy on yu, Donald. Ye've had a sair loss in
your Jessie."

"Aye--aye--I've had a sair loss in my Jessie--an' a heavy ex-pense."

       *       *       *       *       *

A good woman lost her husband, and the Minister made his way to the
court where she lived. He found her playing cards with a friend. But
she was _æquus ad occasionem_--as Charlie says!--

"Come awa', Minister! Come awa' in wi' ye. Ye'll see _I'm just hae-ing
a trick with the cairds to ding puir Davie oot o' my heid_."

       *       *       *       *       *

I don't know if the following will _read_ comprehensibly. _Told_ it
was overwhelming, and was a prime favourite with the Scotch audience.

Hoo oor Baby was _burrrned_.
(How our Baby was burnt.)

(You must realize a kind of amiable bland _whine_ in the way of
telling this. A caressing tone in the Scotch drawl, as the good lady
speaks of _oor wee Wullie_, etc. Also a roll of the r's on the word

"Did ye never hear hoo oor wee Baby was burrrned? Well ye see--it was
_this_ way. The Minister and me had been to _Peebles_--and we were
awfu' tired, and we were just haeing oor bit suppers--when oor wêê
Wullie cam doon-stairs and he says--'Mither, Baby's _burrrning_.'

"--Y'unerstan it was the day that the Minister and me were at Peebles.
We were _awful_ tired, and we were just at oor suppers, and the
Minister says (very loud and nasal), '_Ca'll Nurrse_!'--but as it
rarely and unfortunitly happened--Nurrse was washing and she couldna
be fashed.

"And in a while our WEE Wullie cam down the stairs again, and
he says--'Mither! Baby's burning.'

"--as I was saying the Minister and me had been away over at Peebles,
and we were in the verra midst of oor suppers, and I said to him--'Why
didna ye call Nurse?'--and off he ran.

"--and there was the misfirtune of it--Nurrse was washing, and she
wouldn't be fashed.

"And--in--a while--oor weee Wullie--came doon the stairs again--and
he says 'Mither! Baby's burrrned.' And that was the way oor poor woe
baby was burnt!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Now for one English one and then I must stop to-day. I flatter myself
I can tell this with a nice mincing and yet vinegar-ish voice.

"When I married my 'Usbin I had no expectation that he would live
three week.

"But Providence--for wise purposes no doubt!--has seen fit to spare
him three years.

"And there he sits, all day long, a-reading the _Illustrious News_."

Now I must stop....

Your loving niece,


_Grenoside._ Advent Sunday, 1881.

       *       *       *       *       *

On one point I think I have improved in my sketching. I have been long
wanting to get a _quick style_ sketching not painting. Because I shall
never have the time, or the time and strength to pursue a more
finished style with success. Now I have got paper on which I can make
no corrections (so it forces me to be "to the point"), and which takes
colour softly and nicely. I have to aim at very correct drawing _at
once_, and I lay in a good deal both of form and shade with a very
soft pencil and then wash colour over; and with the colour I aim at
blending tints as I go on, putting one into the other whilst it is
wet, instead of washing off, and laying tint over tint, which the
paper won't bear. I am doing both figures and landscape, and in the
same style. I think the nerve-vigour I get from the fresh air helps me
to decision and choice of colours. But I shall bore you with this
gallop on my little hobby horse!...

November 30.

... I have sketched up to to-day, but it was cold and sunless, so I
did some village visiting. I am known here, by the bye, as "_Miss
Gatty as was_"! I generally go about with a tribe of children after
me, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin! They are now fairly trained to
keeping behind me, and are curiously civil in taking care of my traps,
pouring out water for me, and keeping each other in a kind of rough
order by rougher adjurations!

"Keep out o' t' _leet_ can't ye?"

"Na then! How's shoo to see through thee?"

"Shoo's gotten t' Dovecot in yon book, and shoo's got little Liddy
Kirk--and thy moother wi' her apron over her heead, and Eliza Flowers
sitting upo' t' doorstep wi' her sewing--and shoo's got t'
woodyard--and Maester D. smooking his pipe--and shoo's gotten _Jack_."

"Nây! Has shoo gotten Jack?"

"Shoo _'as_. And shoo's gotten ould K. sitting up i' t' shed corner
chopping wood, and shoo's bound to draw him and Dronfield's lad
criss-cross sawing."

"Aye. Shoo did all Greno Wood last week, they tell me."

"Aye. And shoo's done most o' t' village this week. What's shoo bound
to do wi' 'em all?"

"_Shoo'll piece 'em all together and mak a big picter of t' whole
place._" (These are true bills!)

Mr. S---- brings in some amusing _ana_ of the village on this subject.

A.W., a nice lad training for schoolmaster, was walking to Chapeltown
with several _rolls of wall paper_ and a big wall paste-brush, when he
was met by "Ould K." (a cynical old beggar, and vainer than any girl,
who has been affronted because I put Master D. into my foreground, and
not him), who said to him--"Well, lad! I see thou's _going out
mapping_, like t' rest on 'em." This evening Mr. S---- tells me his
landlord told him that some men who work for a very clever file-cutter
here, who is _facile princeps_ at his trade, but _mean_, and keeps
"the shop" cold and uncomfortable for his workmen--devised yesterday
the happy thought of going to their Gaffer and telling him that I had
been sketching down below (true) and was coming up their way, and that
I was sure to expect a glint of fire in the shop, which ought to look
its best. According to N. he took the bait completely, piled a roaring
fire, and as the day wore on kept wandering restlessly out and peering
about for me! When they closed for the night he said it was strange I
hadn't been, but he reckoned I was sure to be there next day, and he
could wish I would "tak him wi' his arm uplifted to strike." (He is a
very powerful smith.) I think I _must_ go if the shop is at all

Nov. 25, 1881.

       *       *       *       *       *

Be happy in a small round. But, none the less, all the more does it
refresh me to get the wave of all your wider experience to flood my
narrow ones--and to enjoy all the _calm_ bits of your language study
and the like. And oh, I am _very_ glad about the Musical Society!
Though I dare say you'll have some _mauvais quarts d'heure_ with the
strings in damp weather!...

I have really got some pretty sketches done the last few days. Not
_finished_ ones, the weather is not fit for long sitting; but H.H. has
given me some "Cox" paper, a rough kind of stuff something like what
_sugar_ is wrapped up in, and with a very soft black pencil I have
been getting in quick outlines--and then tinting them with thin pure
washes of colour. I have been doing one of the Clog-shop. This quaint
yard has doors--old doors--which long since have been painted a most
charming red. Then the old shop is red-tiled, and an old stone-chimney
from which the pale blue smoke of the wood-fire floats softly off
against the tender tints of the wood, on the edge of which lie fallen
logs with yellow ends, ready for the clog-making, and all the bare
brown trees, and the green and yellow sandstone walls, and Jack the
Daw hopping about. The old man at the clog-yard was very polite to me
to-day. He said, "It's a pratty bit of colour," and "It makes a nicet
sketch now you're getting in the _dit_tails." He went some distance
yesterday to get me some india-rubber, and then wanted me to keep it!
He's a perfect "picter card" himself. I must try and get _his_

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ecclesfield._ Dec. 23, 1881.

... I cannot tell you the pleasure it gives me that you say what you
do of "Daddy Darwin." No; it will not make me overwork. I think, I
hope, nothing ever will again. Rather make me doubly careful that I
may not lose the gift you help me to believe I have. I have had very
kind letters about it, and Mrs. L. sent me a sweet little girl dressed
in pink--a bit of Worcester China!--as "Phoebe Shaw."...

Aunt M. sent "Daddy Darwin" to T. Kingdon (he is now Suffragan Bishop
to Bishop Medley), and she sent us his letter. I will copy what he
says: "'Daddy Darwin' is very charming--directly I read it I took it
off to the Bishop--and he read it and cried over it with joy, and then
read it again, and it has gone round Fredericton by this time. The
story is beautifully told, and the picture is quite what it should be.
When I look at the picture I think nothing could beat it, and then
when I read the story I think the story is best--till I look again at
the picture, and I can only say that _together_ I don't think they
could be beaten at all in their line. I have enjoyed them much. There
is such a wonderful fragrance of the Old Country about them."

I thought you would like to realize the picture of our own dear old
Bishop crying with joy over it! What a young heart! tenderer than many
in their teens; and what unfailing affection and sympathy....

January 17, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. O'M. is delighted with "Daddy Darwin." I had a most curious
letter about it from Mrs. S., a very clever one and very flattering!
F.S. too wrote to D., and said things almost exactly similar. It seems
odd that people should express such a sense of "purity" with the "wit
and wisdom" of one's writing! It seems such an odd reflection on the
tone of other people's writings!!! But the minor writers of the
"Fleshly school" are perhaps producing a reaction! Though it's
_marvellous_ what people will read, and think "so clever!" Some novels
lately--_Sophy_ and _Mehalah_, deeply recommended to me, have made me
aghast. I'm not very young, nor I think very priggish; but I do
decline to look at life and its complexities solely and entirely from
a point of view that (bar Christian names and the English language)
would do equally well for a pig or a monkey. If I _am_ no more than a
Pig, I'm a fairly "learned" pig, and will back myself to get some
small piggish pleasures out of this mortal stye, before I go to the
Butcher!! But--IF--I am something very different, and very much
higher, I won't ignore my birthright, or sell it for Hog'swash,
because it involves the endurance of some pain, and the exercise of
some faith and hope and charity! _Mehalah_ is a well-written book,
with a delicious sense of local colour in nature. And it is (pardon
the sacrilege!) a LOVE _story_! The focus point of the hero's
(!) desire would at quarter sessions, or assizes, go by the plain
names of outrage and murder, and he succeeds in drowning himself with
the girl who hates him lashed to him by a chain. In not one other
character of the book is there an indication that life has an aim
beyond the lusts of the flesh, and the most respectable characters are
the tenants whose desires are summed up in the desire of more suet
pudding and gravy!! To any one who KNOWS the poor! who knows
what faiths and hopes (true or untrue) support them in consumption and
cancer, in hard lives and dreary deaths, the picture is as untrue as
it is (to me!) disgusting.

       *       *       *       *       *

March 22, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

On Saturday night I went down with A. and L. to Battersea, to one of
the People's Concerts. I enclose the programme. It is years since I
have enjoyed anything so much as _Thomas's_ Harp-playing. (He is not
Ap-Thomas, but he _is_ the Queen's Harper.) His hands on those strings
were the hands of a _Wizard_, and form and features nearly as quaint
as those of Mawns seemed to dilate into those of a poet. It was very

Did I tell you that Lady L. has sent _me_ a ticket this year for her
Sunday afternoons at the Grosvenor? We went on Sunday. The paintings
there just now are Watts's. Our old blind friend at Manchester has
sent a lot. It is a very fine collection. I think few paintings do
beat Watts's 'Love and Death'--Death, great and irresistible, wrapped
in shrowd-like drapery, is pushing relentlessly over the threshold of
a home, where the portal is climbed over by roses and a dove plays
about the lintel. You only see his back. But, facing you, Love, as a
young boy, torn and flushed with passion and grief, is madly striving
to keep Death back, his arms strained, his wings crushed and broken in
the unequal struggle.

Beside the paintings it was great fun seeing the company! Princess
Louise was there, and lots of minor stars. And--my Welsh Harper was
there! I had a long chat with him. He talks like a true artist, and
WE must know him hereafter. When I said that when I heard him
play the 'Men of Harlech,' I understood how Welshmen fought in the
valleys if their harpers played upon the hills (_most true!_), he
seized my hand in both his, and thanked me so excitedly I was quite
alarmed for fear Mrs. Grundy had an eye round the corner!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

_Amesbury_, May 28, 1182.

... 'Tis a sweet, sweet spot! Not one jot or one tittle of the old
charm has forsaken it. Clean, clean shining streets and little
houses, pure, pure air!--a changeful and lovely sky--the green
watermeads and silvery willows--the old patriarch in his smock--the
rushing of the white weir among the meadows, the grey bridge, the big,
peaceful, shading trees, the rust-coloured lichen on the graves where
the forefathers of the hamlet sleep (oh what a place for sleep!), the
sublime serenity of that incomparable church tower, about which the
starlings wheel, some of them speaking words outside, and others
replying from the inside (where they have no business to be!) through
the belfry windows in a strange chirruping antiphon, as if outside
they sang:

"Have you found a house, and a nest where you may lay your young?

(and from within):

Even Thy altars, O Lord of Hosts! my King and my God!"

D. and I wandered (how one _wanders_ here) a long time there yesterday
evening. Then we went up to the cemetery on the hill, with that
beautiful lych-gate you were so fond of. I picked you a forget-me-not
from the old Rector's grave, for he has gone home, after fifty-nine
years' pastorship of Amesbury. His wife died the year before. Their
graves are beautifully kept with flowers.

_Whit-Monday_, 9.30 p.m. We are in the upper sitting-room to-day, the
lower one having been reserved for "trippers." It is a glorious
night--beyond the open window one of several Union Jacks waves in the
evening breeze, and one of several brass bands has just played its way
up the street. How these admirable musicians have found the lungs to
keep it up as they have done since an early hour this morning they
best know! Oh, how we have laughed! How _you_ would have laughed!! It
has been the most good-humoured, civil crowd you can imagine! Such
banners! such a "gitting of them" up and down the street by ardent
"Foresters" and other clubs in huge green sashes and flowers
everywhere! Before we were up this morning they were hanging flags
across the street, and seriously threatening the stability of that
fine old window!

When I was dressed enough to pull up the blind and open the window
some green leaves fluttered in in the delicious breeze. I went off
into raptures, thinking it was a big _Vine_ I had not noticed before,
creeping outside!!

It was a maypole of sycamore branches, placed there by the

Frances Peard laughed at me much for something like to this I said at
Torquay! She said, "You are just like my old mother. Whenever we pass
a man who has used a fusee, she always becomes knowing about tobacco,
and says, _There_, Frances, my dear--there IS a fine cigar.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

... We came here last Thursday. When I got to Porton D. had sent an
air-cushion in the fly, and though I had a five miles drive it was
through this exquisite air on a calm, lovely evening, and by the time
we got to a spot on the Downs where a little Pinewood breaks the
expanse of the plains, the good-humoured driver and I were both on our
knees on the grass digging up plots of the exquisite Shepherd's Thyme,
which carpets the place with blue!

Yesterday we drove by Stonehenge to Winterbourne Stoke. It was
glaring, and I could not do much sketching, but the drive over the
downs was like drinking in life at some primeval spring. (And this
though the wind did give me acute neuralgia in my right eye, but yet
the air was so exquisitely refreshing that I could cover my eye with a
handkerchief and still enjoy!) The charm of these unhedged, unbounded,
un-"cabined, cribbed, confined" _prairies_ is all their own, and very
perfect! And _such_ flowers _enamel_ (it _is_ a good simile in spite
of Alphonse Karr!) the close fine grass! The pale-yellow rock cistus
in clumps, the blue "shepherd's thyme" in tracts of colour, sweet
little purple-capped orchids, spireas and burnets, and everywhere "the
golden buttercup" in sheets of gleaming yellow, and the soft wind
blows and blows, and the black-nosed sheep come up the leas, and I
drink in the breeze! Oh, those flocks of black-faced lambs and sheep
are TOO-TOO! and I must tell you that the old Wiltshire
"ship-dog" is nearly extinct. I regret to say that he is not found
equal to "the Scotch" in business habits, and one see Collies
everywhere now....

_London._ June 29, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had a great treat last Sunday. One you and I will share when you
come home. D., U., and I took Jack to church at the Chelsea Hospital,
and we went round the Pensioners' Rooms, kitchen, sick-wards, etc.
afterwards, with old Sir Patrick Grant and Col. Wadeson, V.C. (Govr.
and Lieut.-Govr.), and a lot of other people.

It is an odd, perhaps a savage, mixture of emotions, to kneel at one's
prayers with some _pride_ under fourteen French flags--_captured_
(including one of Napoleon's while he was still Consul, with a red cap
of Liberty as big as your hat!), and hard by the FIVE bare
staves from which the FIVE standards taken at Blenheim have
rotted to dust!--and then to pass under the great Russian standard
(twenty feet square, I should say!) that is festooned above the door
of the big hall. If Rule Britannia IS humbug--and we are mere
Philistine Braggarts--why doesn't Cook organize a tour to some German
or other city, where we can sit under fourteen captured British
Colours, and be disillusioned once for all!!! Where is the Hospital
whose walls are simply decorated like some Lord Mayor's show with
trophies taken from us and from every corner of the world? (You know
Lady Grant was in the action at Chillianwallah and has the medal?) We
saw two Waterloo men, and Jack was handed about from one old veteran
to another like a toy. "Grow up a brave man," they said, over and over
again. But "The Officer," as he called Colonel Wadeson, was his chief
pride, he being in full uniform and cocked hat!!

And I must tell you--in the sick ward I saw a young man, fair-curled,
broad-chested, whose face seemed familiar. He was with Captain
Cleather at the Aldershot Gym., fell, and is "going home"--slowly, and
with every comfort and kindness about him, but of spinal paralysis.
It _did_ seem hard lines! He was at the Amesbury March Past, and we
had a long chat about it.

       *       *       *       *       *

July 21, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot tell you how it pleases me that you liked the bit about
Aldershot in "Lætus." I hope that it must have _grated_ very much if I
had done it badly or out of taste, on any one who knows it as well as
you do; and that its moving your sympathies does mean that I have done
it pretty well. I cannot tell you the pains I expended on it! All
those sentences about the Camp were written in scraps and corrected
for sense and euphony, etc., etc., bit by bit, like "Jackanapes"!!!
Did I tell you about "Tuck of Drum"? Several people who saw the proof,
pitched into me, "Never heard of such an expression." I was convinced
I knew it, and as I said, as a _poetical_ phrase; but I could not
charge my memory with the quotation: and people exasperated me by
regarding it as "camp slang." I got Miss S. to look in her
_Shakespeare's Concordance_, but in vain, and she wrote severely, "My
Major lifts his eyebrows at the term." I was in despair, but I sent
the proof back, trusting to my instincts, and sent a postcard to Dr.
Littledale, and got a post-card back by return--"Scott"--"Rokeby."

    "With burnished brand and musketoon,
      So gallantly you come,
    I rede you for a bold dragoon,
      That lists the tuck of drum."--
    "I list no more the tuck of drum,
      No more the trumpet hear;
    But when the beetle sounds his hum,
      My comrades take the spear."

And I copied this on to another postcard and added, _Tell your Major!_
and despatched it to Miss S.! She said, "You _did_ Cockadoodle!"--

But isn't it _exquisite_? _What_ a creature Scott was! Could words,
could a long romance, give one a finer picture of the ex-soldier
turned "Gentleman of the Road"? The touch of regret--"I list no more
the tuck of drum," and the soldierly necessity for a "call"--and then
_such_ a call!

When the Beetle _sounds his hum_--

The Dor Beetle!--

I hope you will like the tale as a whole. It has been long in my head.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh! how funny Grossmith was! Yesterday I was at the Matinée for the
Dramatic School, and he did a "Humorous Sketch" about Music, when he
said with care-carked brows that there was only one man's music that
_thoroughly_ satisfied him (after touching on the various
schools!)--and added--"my own." It was inexpressibly funny. His
"Amateur Composer" would have made you die!

Ah, but THE treat, such a treat as I have not heard for
years--was that old Ristori RECITED the 5th Canto of the
_Inferno_. I did not remember which it was, and feared I should not be
able to follow, but it proved to be "Francesca." Never could I have
believed it possible that reciting could be like that. I could have
gone into a corner and cried my heart out afterwards, the tension was
so extreme. And oh what power and WHAT refinement!

       *       *       *       *       *

July 28, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

Last Saturday D. and I went down to Aldershot to the Flat Races!!! As
we went along, tightly packed in a carriage full of ladies in what may
be termed "dazzling toilettes," pretty girls and Dowager Mammas
everywhere!--and as we ran past the familiar "Brookwood North Camp,"
where white "canvas" shone among the heather (and the heather, the cat
heather, oh SO bonny! with here and there a network of the
red threads of the dodder, so thick that it looked like red flowers),
and all the ladies, young and old, craned forward to see the tents,
etc., I really laughed at myself for the accuracy of my own
descriptions in "Lætus"! P. met us at the R.E. Mess, where we had
luncheon. After lunch we went to the familiar stables, and inspected
the kit for Egypt. Then P. drove us to the Race Course. I met a lot of
old friends. The Duke and Duchess of Connaught were there. It all
looked very pretty, the camp is so much grown up with plantations now.
The air was wondrous sweet. P. drove us back to the Mess for tea, and
then down to the station. It was a great pleasure, though rather a sad
one. Everybody was very grave. A sort of feeling, "What will be the

_The Castle, Farnham._
Aug. 17, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is one of the sides of X.'s mind which makes me feel her so
_limited_ an artist that she seems almost to take up a school as she
takes up a lady-friend--"one down another come on." I think her abuse
of Wagner now curiously _narrow_. I can't see why one should not feel
the full spell and greater purity of Brahms without dancing in his
honour on Wagner's bones!! It seems like her refusing to see any merit
in, or derive any enjoyment from modern pictures because she has been
"posted" in the Early Italian School. So from year to year these good
people who have been to Florence will not even look at a painting by
Brett or Peter Graham, though by the very qualities and senses through
which one feels the sincerity, the purity, the nobleness, and the fine
colour of those great painters, the photographs of whose pictures even
stir one's heart,--one surely ought also to take delight in a
landscape school which simply did not exist among the ancients. If sea
and sky as GOD spreads them before our eyes are admirable, I
can't think how one can be blind to delight in such pictures as 'The
Fall of the Barometer,' 'The Incoming Tide,' or Leader's 'February
Fill-dyke.' Things which no Florentine ever approached, as transcripts
of Nature's mood apart from man....

Yesterday we had a most delicious drive through the heather and pines
to Crookham. Ah, 'tis a bonny country, and I _did_ laugh when I said
to Mr. Walkinshaw, "How glorious the heather is this year!" and he
said, "Yes. If only it was growing on its native heath." For a minute
I couldn't tell what he meant. Then I discovered that he regards
heather as the exclusive property of bonnie Scotland!!!

I think you will be pleased to hear that I did, what I have long
wanted, yesterday. Thoroughly made Mrs. Walkinshaw's acquaintance, and
thanked her for that old invitation we never accepted to go there to
see the Chinnerys' sketches. How Scotch and _kindly_ she is! She
insisted on bringing her husband and daughters to be introduced, and
sent _warmest_ messages to you. She said she feared you must have
quite forgotten her; but I told her she was quite wrong there! She
says she has a little Chinnery she meant to give me long ago, and she
insists on sending it....

Sept. 1, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must tell you that I had such a mixture of pain and pleasure at
Britwell in the nearest approach to Trouvé I have ever known. A larger
dog, and not quite so "Möcent," but in character and ways his living
image. The same place on his elbow (which his Aunt was always wanting
to gum a bit of astrachan on to); he "took" to his Aunt at once!
_Nero_ by name. The sweetest temper. I have kissed the nice soft
places on his black lips and shaken hands by the hour!!! Yesterday the
others went to a garden-party, so I went on to the Downs to sketch,
and when the dogs saw me, off they came, Nero delighted, and little
Punch the Pug. They came with me all the way, and lay on the grass
while I was sketching, and Nero kept sitting down to save a corner,
and watch which way I meant to go, just like dear True! [_Sketch._]
They were very good, sitting with me on the downs, but they roamed
away into the woods after game a good deal on the road home!...

_Grenoside._ Oct 5, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do so long to hear how you like the end of "Lætus." As F.S.'s tale
turned out seven pages longer than was accounted for, I had to cut out
some of _my_ story, and so have missed the point of its being S.
Martin's Day on which Leonard died. S. Martin was a soldier-saint, and
the Tug-of-War Hymn is only sung on Saints' Days.

I have completed a tale[42] for the November No., and gave a rough
design to André for the illustration, which will be in colours. I hope
you will like _that_. There is not a tear in it this time! "Lætus" was
too tragic!

[Footnote 42: "Sunflowers and a Rushlight," vol. xvi.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Will we or will we not have a Persian Puss in our new home by the name
of--Marjara?--It is quite perfect! Do Brahmans like cats? I must
have a tale about Marjara!!!--

Karava is grand too!

        Oh Karava!
        Oh the Crier!
        Oh Karava!
        Oh the Shouter!
    Oh Karava, oh the Caller!
    Very glossy are your feathers,
    Very thievish are your habits,
    Black and green and purple feathers,
    Bold and bad your depredations!!!

Doesn't he sound like a fellow in _Hiawatha_?

Oh, it's a fine language, and must have fine _lils_ in it!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Ecclesfield._ Oct. 10, 1882.


Your dear, kind letter was very pleasant sweetmeat and encouragement.
I am deeply pleased you like the end of "Lætus"--and feel it to the
point--and that my polishings were not in vain! I polished that last
scene to distraction in "the oak room" at Offcote!

I should _very_ much like to hear how it hits the General. I think
"_Pav_ilions" (as my Yorkshire Jane used to call civilians!) may get a
little mixed, and not care so much for the points. Some who have been
rather extra kind about it are--Lady W---- (but yesterday she
amusingly insisted that she _had_ lived in camp ---- at
Wimbledon!!)--the Fursdons and "Stella Austin," author of _Stumps_,
etc.--(literary "civilians" who think it the best thing I have ever
done), and two young barristers who have been reading it aloud to each
other in the Temple--with tears. And yet I fancy many non-military
readers may get mixed. P. vouchsafes no word of it to _me_, but I hear
from D. (under the veil of secrecy!) that he and Mr. Anstruther read
it together in Egypt with much approval. I am more pleased by military
than non-military approval. Old Aldershottians would so easily spot
blunders and bad taste!!! Mrs. Murray wrote to me this morning about
it--and of course wished they were back in dear old Aldershot!

You make me very egotistical, but I DO wish you to tell me
what you, _and_ Aunty, _and_ Madre think of "Sunflowers and a
Rushlight," when you read it. I fear it has rather scandalized my
Aunt, who is staying with us. She is obviously shocked at the
plain-speaking about drains and doctors, and thinks that part ought to
have been in an essay--not in a child's tale. I am a little troubled,
and should _really_ like (what is seldom soothing!) a candid opinion
from _each of you_. You know how I think the riding _some_ hobbies
takes the _fine edge_ off the mind, and if you think I am growing
coarse in the cause of sanitation--I beseech you to tell me! As to
putting _the teaching_ into an essay--the crux there is that the
people one wants to stir up about sanitation are just good family folk
with no special literary bias; and they will read a tale when they
won't read an essay! But do tell me if any one of you feel that the
subject _grates_, or my way of putting it.

Now, my darling, I must tell you that I have got a telegram from my
goodman--the Kapellmeister!--to say he IS to be sent home in
"early spring." This is a great comfort. I would willingly have let
him stay two months longer to escape spring cold; but he has got to
_hate_ the place so fiercely, that I now long for him to get away at
any cost. It must be most depressing! The last _letter_ I got, he had
had a trip by sea, and said he felt perfectly different till he got
back to Colombo, when the oppression seized him again. He has been to
Trincomalee, and is charmed with it, and said he could read small
print when he got there, but his eyes quite fail in the muggyness of
Colombo. However he will cheer up now, I hope! and Nov. and Dec. and
Jan. are good months.

Now good-bye, dear. My best love to Aunty and Madre.

Your loving,


_Ecclesfield._ October 24, 1882.

... It was very vexatious that the Megha Duta came just too late for
last mail. It is a beautiful poem. Every now and then the local colour
has a weird charm all its own. It lifts one into another land (without
any jarring of railway or steamship!) to realize the _locale_ in which
rearing masses of grey cumuli suggest elephants rushing into combat!
And the husband's picture of his wife in his absence is as noble, as
sympathetic, and as perceptive as anything of the kind I ever read.
So full of human feeling and so refined. I enjoyed it very much. It
reminded me, oddly enough, more than once of Young's _Night Thoughts_.
I think perhaps (if the charm of another tongue, and the wonder of its
antiquity did not lead one to give both more _attention_ and more
_sympathy_ than one would perhaps bestow on an English poem) that the
poem does not rank much higher than a degree short of the first rank
of our poets. But it is very charming. And oh, what a lovely text! It
is a _most beautiful_ character....


_Ecclesfield, Sheffield._
November 17, 1822.


There has been long word silence between us! I made a break in it the
other day by sending you my new "Picture Poem"--"A Week Spent in a
Glass Pond."

It was a sort of repayment of a tender chromolithographic (!) debt.

Do you remember, when Fredericton was our home, and when everything
pretty from Old England did look so very pretty--how on one of those
home visits from which he brought back bits of civilization--the
Bishop brought _me_ a "chromo" of dogs and a fox which has hung in
every station we've had since?

Now--as a friend's privilege is--I will talk without fear or favour of
myself! The last real contact with you was the Bishop's too brief peep
at us in Bowdon--a shadowy time out of which his Amethyst ring flashes
on my mind's eye. No! Not Amethyst--what IS the name? Sapphire!--(I have
a little mental confusion on the subject. I have a weak--a very weak
corner--in my heart for another Bishop, an old friend of your
Bishop's--Bishop Harold Browne; and have had the honour now and again of
wearing his rings on my thumb--a momentary relaxation of discipline and
due respect, which I doubt if your Bishop would admit!!! though I hope
he has a little love for me, frightened as I now and then am of him!!!!
The last time but one I was at Farnham, I was asked to stay on another
two days to catch the Brownes' fortieth wedding-day. Just as we were
going down to dinner I reproached the Bishop for not having on his
"best" ring! Very luckily--for he said he always made a point of it on
his wedding-day--left me like a hot potato in the middle of the stairs
and flew off to his room, and returned with _the_ grand sapphire!)

Well, dear--that's a parenthesis--to go back to Bowdon. I was not to
boast of there, and after the move to York, and I had fitted up my
house and made up for lost time in writing work, I was a very much
broken creature, keeping going to Jenner and getting orders to
rest!--and then came the order to Malta, not six months after we were
sent to York, and I stayed to pack up and sent out all our worldly
goods and chattels, and then started myself, and was taken ill in
Paris and had to come back, and have been "of no account" for three

Well. My news is now far better than once I hoped it ever could be.
I'm not strong, but I can work in moderation, though I can't "rackett"
the least bit. And--Rex is to come home in Spring!--the season of hope
and _nest-building_--and I am trying not to wonder my wits away as to
what part of the British Isles it will be in which I shall lay the
cross-sticks and put in the moss and wool of our next nest!! There is
every reason to suppose we shall be "at home" for five years, I am
thankful to say....

Rex loved Malta, and _hates_ Ceylon. But he has been _very_ good and
patient about it.

Latterly he has consoled himself a good deal with the study of Sanscrit,
which he means me also to acquire, though I have not got far yet! It is
a beautiful character. He says, "Of all the things I have tried Sanscrit
is the most utterly delicious! Of the alphabet alone there are (besides
the ten vowels and thirty-three simple consonants) rather more than two
hundred compound consonants," etc., etc.! He adds, "[Sanskrit: aayi]
are my detached initials, but I could write my whole name in
'Devanagiri,' or 'Writing of the Gods.'"


_Ecclesfield._ December 8, 1882.

... I got back from Liverpool on Monday. When I called at the Museum
on that morning a Dr. Palmer was there, who said, "I was in Taku Forts
with your husband," and was very friendly. He gave me a prescription
for neuralgia! and sent you his best remembrances.

First and last I have annexed one or two nice "bits of wool for our
nest." For _8s._ (a price for which I could not have bought _the
frame_, a black one with charming old-fashioned gold-beading of this
pattern) [_sketch_] I bought a real fine old soft mezzotint, after Sir
Joshua Reynolds' portrait of Richard Burke. Oh, such a lovely face!
Looking lovelier in powder and lace frill. But a charming thing, with
an old-fashioned stanza in English deploring his early death, and a
motto in Latin. It was a great find, and I carried it home from the
Pawnbroker's in triumph!--

I have got a very nice Irish anecdote for you from Mr. Shee:

Two Irishmen (not much accustomed to fashionable circles) at a big
party, standing near the door. After a long silence:

Paddy I.--"D'ye mix much in society?"

P. II.--"Not more than six tumblers in the evening."

       *       *       *       *       *

S. John Evangelist, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

C. "dealt" for me for the old Japanese Gentleman (pottery) on whom I
turned my back at £1. He has got him for _15s._ You will be delighted
with him, and I have just packed him (and a green pot lobster!) in a
box with sawdust.

Do you remember how your 'genteel' clerk's wife came (starving) from
Islington, or some such place, to us at Aldershot, and told me she had
_sold_ all her furniture (as a nice preparation to coming to free but
empty quarters) EXCEPT _her parlour pier-glass and fire-irons_?

I sometimes feel as if I bought house plenishing that packed together
about as nicely as that!!! Witness my pottery old gentleman, and my
bronze Crayfish....

December 20, 1882.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am so glad you like "Sunflowers and a Rushlight." It was very
pleasurable work, though hard work as usual, writing it. It was
written at Grenoside, among the Sunflowers, and generally with dear
old Wentworth, the big dog, walking after me or lying at my feet.

You may, or may not, have observed, that the _Times_ critic says, that
"of one thing there can be no doubt"--and that is--"_Miss_ Ewing's
nationality. No one but a Scotchwoman bred and born _could_ have
written the 'Laird and the Man of Peace.'"

It is "rich in pawky humour." But if I can get a copy I'll send it to
you. It is complimentary if not true!

I am putting a very simple inscription over our dear Brother. Do you
like it?

commonly and justly called
FOUND 1869; LOST 1881,
by A.E. and J.H.E.


_Eccelsfield._ December, 1882.

... I rather HOPE to have a story for you for March, which
will be laid in France. Will it do if you have it by February 8?...

It is a terribly close subject, and I shall either fail at it, or make
it I hope not inferior to "Jackanapes." I don't _think_ it will be
long. The characters are so few, I have only plotted it. It will be




Soldiers, Peasants, Priests, Gendarmes, a Rabble, Reapers--but you
know I generally overflow my limits. I hope I can do it, but it tears
me to bits! and I've walked myself to bits nearly in plotting it this
morning,--a very little written, but I believe I could be _ready_ by
February 8. I don't think it will be as long as "Daddy Darwin," not

Please settle with Mr. B. what you will do about an illustration. The
first scene is that of the death-bed of the sergeant's father. I think
it would be quite as good a scene for illustration as any, and will, I
trust, be ready in a day or two. Is it worth Mr. B.'s while to see if
R.C. would do it in shades of brown or grey? (a very chiaroscuro scene
in a tumble-down cottage, light from above). All _I_ must have is a
good illustration or none at all. (I would send copy of scene to R.C.
and ask him.) I think it might pay, because I am certain to want to
_re_publish it, and whoever I publish it with will pay half-price for
the old illustration. I do myself believe that it might be
_colour-printed_ in (say seven instead of seventeen) shades of colour
(blues, and browns, and black, and yellow, and white) at much less
cost than a full-coloured one, but that I leave to Mr. B.: only I have
some strong theories about it, and when I come to town I mean to make
Edmund Evans's acquaintance.

Strange to say, I believe I _could_ make the tale illustrate the
"Portrait of a Sergeant" if it were possible to get permission to have
a thing photoed and reduced from _that_!!!--Goupil would be the
channel in which to inquire--but the artist would not be a leading
character, as far as I can see, so it might not be all one could wish.
But it is worth investigating....

Or again, I wonder what Herkomer would charge for an _etching_ of the
dying old Woodcutter, and his kneeling son? I believe THAT
would be the thing!--But the plate must be surfaced so that _A.J.M._
mayn't exhaust all the good impressions. If Herkomer would etch that,
and add a vignette of a scene I could give him with a beautiful
peasant girl--or of the old sergeant and the portly and worldly
"Madame," we SHOULD "do lovely!" Will you try for that,

No more today for

     "I am exhaust
      I can not!"

Your devoted, J.H.E.

Remember _I_ wish for Herkomer. He will be the right man in the right
place. R.C. is for dear old England, and this is French and Roman
Catholic--and Keltic peasant life.


January 4, 1883,

       *       *       *       *       *

Caldecott says his difficulty over my writing is that "the force and
finish" of it frightens him. It is painted already and does not need
illustration; and he has lingered over "Jackanapes" from the
conviction that he could "never satisfy me"!! This difficulty is, I
hope, now vanquished. He is hard at work on a full and complete
edition of "Jackanapes," of which he has now begged to take the entire
control, will "submit" paper and type, etc. to me, and hopes to
please. "But you are _so_ particular!"

I need hardly say I have written to place everything in his hands. I
am "not such a fool as" to think I can teach _him_! (though I am
insisting upon certain arrangements of types, etc., etc., to give a
_literary_--not Toy Book--aspect to the volume).

André I _know I help_. But then only a man of real talent and mind
would accept the help and be willing to be taught. The last batch of
_A Soldier's Children_ that came had three pages that grated on me.

1. "They mayn't have much time for their prayers on active service,
_and we ought to say them instead_." The first part of this line is
splendidly done by a brush with Zulus among mealies, but the second
part (as underlined) was thus. Nice old church (good idea) and the
officer's wife and children at prayer. BUT--the lady was like
a shop-girl, in a hat and feathers, tight-fitting jacket with skimpy
fur edge (inexpressibly vulgar cheap finery style!), kneeling with a
highly-developed figure backwards on to the spectator! and with her
eyes up in a theatrical gaze heavenwards. Little boy _sitting_ on
seat, with his hat on.

2. For "GOD bless the good soldiers like old father and
Captain Powder and the men with good conduct medals, and please let
the naughty ones be forgiven,"--he had got some men being released out
of prison cells.

3. For "There are eight verses and eight Alleluias, and we can't sing
very well, but we did our best.

"Only Mary would cry in the verse about 'Soon, soon to faithful
warriors comes their rest'!"--
--he had got a very poor thing of three children singing.

Now these were all highly-finished drawings. Quite complete, and I
know the man is _driven_ with work (for cheap pay!). So I hesitated,
and worried myself. At last I took courage and sent them back, having
faith in the "thoroughness" which he so eminently works with.

For 1, I sent him a sketch! said the lady must wear a bonnet in
church, and her boys must take off their hats! That she must kneel
_forwards_, be dressed in a deep sealskin with heavy fox edge, and
have her eyes _down_, and the children must kneel _imitating her_, and
I should like an old _brass_ on the wall above them with one of those
queer old kneeling families in ruffs.

For 2, I said I could not introduce child readers to the cells, and I
begged for an old Chelsea Pensioner showing his good conduct medal to
a little boy.

3. I suggested the tomb of a Knight Crusader, above which should fall
a torn banner with the words, "In Coelo Quies."

Now if he had kicked at having three pictures to do utterly over
again, one could hardly have wondered, pressed as he is. But, back
they came! "I am indeed much indebted to you," the worst he had to
say! The lady in No. 1 now _is_ a lady; and as to the other two, they
will be two of the best pages of the book. Old Pensioner first-rate,
and Crusader under torn banner just leaving "Coelo Quies," a tomb
behind "of S. Ambrose of Milan" with a little dog--and a
snowy-moustached old General, with bending shoulders and holding a
little girl by the hand, paying _devoir_ at the Departed Warrior's
tomb in a ray of rosy sunlight!!

This is the sort of way we are fighting through the Ewing-André books.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ecclesfield._ January 10, 1883.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fancy me "learning a part" again! _That_ has a sort of sound like old
times, hasn't it?

I feel half as if I were a fool, and half as if it would be very good
fun! R.A. theatricals at Shoeburyness. The FoxStrangways have asked
me. Major O'Callaghan is Stage Manager I believe. Then there is a
Major Newall, said to be very good. He says he "has a fancy to play 'A
Happy Pair' with me!" It is his _cheval de bataille_ I believe.

I think it is best to try and do what one is _asked_ over parts
(though they were very polite in offering me a choice), so I said I
would try, and am learning it. I think I shall manage it. They now
want me to take "A Rough Diamond" as well, _Margery_. I doubt its
being wise to attempt both. It will be rather a strain, I think.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Shoeburyness._ January 25, 1883.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am playing Mrs. Honeyton in "A Happy Pair" with Major Newall. He
knows his work well, is a good coach, and very considerate and kind.

In my soul I wish that were all, but they have persuaded me also to
take Margery in "A Rough Diamond," and getting THAT up in a
week is "rough on" a mediocre amateur like myself!

This is a _curious_ place. Very nice, bar the east winds. I have been
down on the shore this morning. The water sobs at your feet, and the
ships and the gulls go up and down. Above, a compact little military
station clusters together, and everywhere are Guns, Guns, Guns; old
guns lying in the grass, new guns shattering the windows, and only
_not_ bringing down the plaster because the rooms are ceiled with wood
"for the same purpose."...


Sunday, April 1883.


I must write a line to you about your poor friends! It is THE
tragedy of this war! Very terrible. I hope the bitterness of death was
_short_, and to gallant spirits like theirs hope and courage probably
supported them till the very last, when higher hopes helped them to
undo their grasp on this life.

In the dying--they suffered far less than most of us will probably
suffer in our beds--but to be at the fullest stretch of manly powers
in the service of their country among the world's hopes and fears and
turmoils, and to be suddenly called upon to "leave all and follow
Christ"--when the "all" for them had most righteously got every force
of mind and body devoted to it--must be at least one hard struggle.
And death away from home does seem so terrible!

Richard will feel it very much. That Nottingham election seems so
short a time ago.

       *       *       *       *       *

Back from Church! Great haste. We have had that grand hymn with--

"Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest."

I did not forget the poor souls.

Prayers for the dead is one of those things which always seems to me
the most curiously obvious and simple of duties!

Your most loving, J.H.E.

71, _Warwick Road_. April 9, 1883.


I write a line to tell you that D. was at S. Paul's yesterday
afternoon to Evensong, and to hear Liddon preach.

I know you will like to hear how very gracefully he alluded to your
poor friend as "the accomplished Engineer," and to Charrington and
Palmer. Of the last--he spoke very feelingly--as to his great loss
from the learning point of view. He said--or to this effect--"We laid
them here last Friday in the faith of Him who died for their sins and
ours, and this is the first Sunday when above their ashes we
commemorate that Resurrection through which we hope that they and we
shall rise again." The "Drum Band" was duly played after the service,
and D. says that crowds remained to listen.

I know you will like to hear this, though I have given a bad
second-hand account.

I hope my Goodman gets to Malta to-day or to-morrow!

       *       *       *       *       *

Ever, dearest Marny,
Your loving J.H.E.


April 24, 1883.

... I sent you a telegram this morning to make you feel quite happy in
your holiday. "Real good times" (a Yankeeism I hate, but it is
difficult to find its brief equivalent!) are not so common in "this
wale" that you should cut yours short. I rather hope this may be in
time to catch you (it is not _my_ fault that you will be without
letters). If you would like to linger longer--Do. You are not likely
to find "the like of" your present surroundings on leave in Scotland,
least of all as to sunshine and flowers. One doesn't go to Malta every
day. I wish I was there! But I can't be, and ten to one should catch
typhoid where you only smell orange-blossoms, and I don't think my
sins run in the Dog-in-the-manger line, and I hope you'll quaff your
cup of content as deeply as you can.

For one thing winter has returned. We had snow yesterday, and the east
wind, the Beast Wind! through which I went this morning to send your
telegram was simply killing; dust like steel filings driving into your
skin, waves of hard dust with dirty paper foam.--Ugh!!--Spend as much
of your leave as you and your friends think well where you are. I've
waited three years. I can wait an odd three weeks and welcome!
Especially as I am up to my eyes in packing and arranging matters for
our new home. What I do hope is you will be happy _there_! But I
believe in laying in happiness like caloric. A good roast keeps one
warm a long time!

How often I have thought that philosophers who argue from the premiss
of the fleeting nature of pleasure, might give pause if they had had
my experience. A body so frail that _nearly_ every pleasure of the
senses has had to be enjoyed chiefly after it had "fleeted"--by the
memory. Pictures (one of my chiefest pleasures), the theatre, any
great sight, sound, or event, being a pleasure after they (and the
_headache_!) have passed away. The "passing pleasures" of life are
just those which this world gives very capriciously, but cannot take
away! They are possessions as real as ... marqueterie chairs! Of
which--more anon,--when you return to the domestic hearth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had such a round in Wardour Street the other day! I do wish for a
Dutch marqueterie chest of drawers with toilet glass attached, but he
is £8! Too much. But (I _must_ let it out!) I got two charming Dutch
marqueterie chairs for my drawing-room for 35/- each. You will be
surprised to find what nice things we have!...


_7, Mount Street, Taunton._
June 3, 1883.


I know you forgive a long silence--especially as I have "packed in
spite of you "!

       *       *       *       *       *

I took lots of time over it all. All my "remains" are piled in cases
in the attics, and I have arranged "terms" with the Great Western, and
hope to do my moving very cheaply.

We had need economize somewhere, for, my dear! we have been
VERY extravagant over our house!!! I should like to hear if
you and your dear ladies (I know Auntie would be candid!) think we
have been wisely so!--Our predecessor had a cottage and garden for
£35--the Col. Commanding only paid £55--and we are paying £70!!!

It is a question of _three things_: 1st, higher and healthier
situation--2nd, modern appliances and drains unconnected with the old
town sewers--3rd, my Goodman took a wild fancy to the house--and
picked his own den--and said he could "live and be at peace" there:
and this means life and death to _me_!

So we have boldly taken this other house! A mile _above_ the town--on
high ground, built by one of the sanitary commission (!), brand
new--and with a glorious view. Not a stick in the garden! but things
grow fast here. I shall have a charming drawing room 24 feet long (so
it will hold me!!!), with two quaint little fire-places with blue
tiles. Rex has a very nice den with French doors into the garden,
where he seems to hope to "attain Nirwana"--and live apart from the
world. Small as I am, I have an odd liking for large rooms (the oxygen
partly--and partly that I "quarterdeck" so when I am working--and
suffer so in my spine and head from close heat). Now it is _very_ hot
here. There's no doubt about it! So, on the whole, I hope we've done
well to house ourselves as we have. And we _can_ give a comfortable
bedroom to a friend! My dear Marny--you _must_ come and see me! It's
really a quaint old town--with a rather foreign-looking cloistered
"Place"--and a curious Saturday Market--with such nice red pottery on

Now to go back--and tell you about my Goodman. He had three weeks of
"real high time" in Malta. Then he came home--to Warwick Road. At
first I thought him much _hot-climatized_, and was worried. But he is
now looking as well as can be. We had a few very happy days at
Ecclesfield. It is a most tender spot with me that he is so fond of my
old home! They know his ways--he says he is at peace--and he rambles
about among the old books--and the people in the village are so glad
to see him--and it is very nice.

He took up his duties here on our 16th wedding day!

The place suits him admirably. I felt sure it would. But I did not
hope _I_ should feel as well in it as I do. It IS hot--and
not VERY dry--but it is _much_ less relaxing than I thought,
and where we have got our house it is high and breezy--and very, very
nice. I am most thankful, and only long to get settled and be able to

We are in lodgings close to--next door to--the very fine barracks. Our
room looks into the barrack-yard, and the dear bugles wake and send us
to sleep!

Your loving

Caldecott has done _seventeen_ illustrations to "Jackanapes."


June 15, 1883.


Once more I thank you for lovely flowers! including one of my chief
favourites--a white Iris. It is very good of you. You do not know what
pleasure they give me! If you continue to bless me with an occasional
nosegay when I move into my house, I shall not so bitterly suffer from
the barrenness of the garden.

This is suggestive of the nasty definition of gratitude that it is a
keen sense of favours to come!

I have been meaning to write to you to express something of our
delight with the "Songs of Old Ireland."

Major Ewing is charmed by the melodies, on which his opinion is worth
something and mine is not! and _I_ can't "read them out of a printed
book" without an instrument. But--we are equally charmed by the

It is a very rare pleasure to be able to give way to unmitigated
enjoyment of modern verse by one's friends. Don't you know? But we
have fairly raved over one after the other of these charming songs!

I do hope Mr. Graves does not consider that friendly criticisms come
under the head of "personal remarks" and are offensive!

I cannot say how truly I appreciate them. Anything absolutely
first-rately done of its kind is always very refreshing, and I do not
see how such national songs could be done much better. They are Irish
to the core!

Irish in local colour--in wealth of word variety--in poetry of the
earliest and freshest type--in shallow passion like a pebbly
brook!--and in a certain comicality and shrewdness. Irish--I was going
to say in refinement, but that is not the word--modern literature is
full of refinements--but Irish in the surpassingly Irish grace of
purity, so rare a quality in modern verse!

How we have laughed over Father O'Flynn! Kitty Bawn is perfect of its
kind--and No. 1 and No. 2.

It is a most graceful collection. Will it be published soon? My
husband says this copy is only a proof.

I am unjustifiably curious to know if Mr. Graves has given much labour
and polishing to these fresh impetuous things. It is against all my
experiences if he has _not_!--but then it would be an addition to my
experiences to find they were "tossed off"!

They have been a pleasant interlude amid the sordid cares of driving
the workmen along! I am getting terribly tired of it!

Yours very sincerely,


_Villa Ponente, Taunton._ July 11, 1883.


Your letter was forwarded to me last month, when I was (and to some
extent am still) very very busy in the details of setting up a new
home--of the temporary nature of military homes!--as Major Ewing has
been posted to Taunton.

As yet there are many things on which I cannot "lay my hand," and a
copy of the Tug of War Hymn is among them!

When I can find it--I will lend it to you. Should I omit to do
so--please be good enough to jog my memory!

It is a rather "ranting" tune-but has tender associations for my

The soldiers of the Iron Church, South Camp, Aldershot, used to "bolt"
with it in the manner described, and some dear little sons of an R.E.
officer always called it the "Tug of War Hymn."

With many thanks for your kind sayings, I am, dear Madam,

Yours very truly,


October 11, 1883.


I append a rough plan of my small garden. We do not stand dead E. and
W., but perhaps a little more so than the arrows show. We are very
high and the winds are often high too! The walls are brick--and that
south bed is very warm. I mean to put bush roses down what is marked
the Potato Patch--it is the original soil with one year's potato crop
where I am mixing vegetables and flowers. The borders are given up to
flowers--mixed herbaceous ones. And on my south wall I have already
planted a Wistaria, a blue Passion-flower--and a Rose of Sharon! I am
keeping a warm corner for "Fortune's Yellow"--and now looking forward
with more delight and gratitude than I can express to "Cloth of Gold"!

I have sent to order the "well-rotted"--and the Gardener for Saturday

Now will you present my grateful acknowledgments to Mrs. Going, and
say that with some decent qualms at my own greediness--I "too-too"
gratefully accept her further kind offers. I deeply desire some
"Ladders to Heaven"--(does she know that old name for Lilies of the
Valley?)--and I am devoted to pansies and have only a scrap or two. A
neighbour _has_ given me a few Myosotis--but I am a daughter of the
horse-leech I fear where flowers are concerned, and if you really have
one or two TO SPARE I thankfully accept. The truly Irish
liberality of Mrs. Going's suggestions--emboldens me to ask if you
happen to have in your garden any of the Hellebores? I have one good
clump of Xmas Rose--but I have none of those green-faced varieties for
which I have a peculiar predilection.

(I do not expect much sympathy from you! In fact I fear you will think
that any one whose taste is so grotesque as to have a devotion for
Polyanthuses--Oxlips--Green Hellebores--every variety of Arum (including
the "stinking" one!)--Dog's-tooth violets--Irises--Auriculas--coloured
primroses--and such dingy and undeveloped denizens of the flower
garden--is hardly worthy to possess the glowing colours and last results
of development in the Queen of flowers!)

But I DO appreciate roses I assure you.

And I am most deeply grateful to you for letting me benefit by--what
is in itself such a treat! your--enthusiasm.

Mrs. Going seems to think that my soil and situation are better than

Could it be possible that you might have any rose under development
that you would care to deposit here for the winter and fetch away in
the spring? I don't know if change of air and soil is ever good for

I fear you'll think mine a barren little patch on which to expend your
kindness! But you are a true _Ama_--teur--and will look at my Villa
Garden through _rose_-coloured spectacles!

Yours gratefully, J.H.E.


October 19, 1883.


       *       *       *       *       *

One bit more of egotism before I stop!

You know how I love my bit of garden!--An admirer--specially of
"Laetus"--whom I had never seen--an Irishman--and a Dorsetshire
Parson. (But who had worked for over twenty years in the slums of
London--which it is supposed only the Salvation Army venture to

--arrived here last Saturday with nineteen magnificent climbing roses,
and has covered two sides of my house and the south wall of my
garden!--but one sunny corner has been kept sacred to Aunty's
Passion-flower, which is doing well--and one for a rose Mrs. Walkinshaw
has promised me. He is a very silent Irishman--a little
alarming--possibly from the rather brief, authoritative ways which men
who have worked big parishes in big towns often get. When Rex said to
him, at luncheon--"How did you who are a Rose Fancier and such a flower
maniac--LIVE all those years in such a part of London?" in rather a
muttered sort of way he explained,

"Well, I had a friend a little out of town who had a garden, and his
wife wanted flowers, and they knew nothing about it: so I made a
compact. I provided the roses--I made the soil--I planted them--and I
used to go and prune them and look after them. They were

"Oh, then you _had_ flowers?"

"Well, I made a compact. They never picked a rose on Saturday. On
Saturday night I used to go and clear the place. I had roses over my
church on Sundays--and all Festivals. The rest of the year his wife
had them."

It struck me as a most touching story--for the man is Rose Maniac.
What a sight those roses must have been to the eyes of such a
congregation! The Church should have been dedicated to S. Dorothea! He
is of the most modest order of Paddies--and as I say a little
alarming. I was _appalled_ when I saw the _hedge_ of the
"finest-named" roses he brought, and it was very difficult to "give
thanks" adequately!--I said once--"I really simply cannot tell you
the pleasure you have given me." He said rather grumpily--"You've
given me pleasure enough--and to lots of others." Then he suddenly
_chirped_ up and said--"Laetus cost me _2s. 6d._ though. My wife bet
me _2s. 6d._ I couldn't read it aloud without crying. I thought I
could. But after a page or two--I put my hand in my pocket--I
said--There! take your half-crown, and let me cry comfortably when I
want to!!!"

My dear, what a screed I have written to you!!

But your letter this morning _was_ a pleasure. There is something so
nice in your getting the very hut where--as I think--"Old Father"
first began to recover after Cyprus-fever. I wish you had had F. to
stride about the old lines also--and knock his head against your
door-tops!--Best love to R., F., and the Queers--

Your loving, J.H.E.

Dec. 3, 1883.


You are always so forbearing!--and I have been driven to a degree by
work which I had promised, and have just despatched! Some day it may
appeal to "the Queers." For it is a collated (and Bowdlerized!)
version of the old Peace Egg Mumming Play for Christmas. I have been
often asked about it: and the other day a Canon Portal wrote to me,
and he urged me to try and do it, and it is done!

But it was a much larger matter than I had thought. The version I have
made up is made up from five different versions, and I hope I have got
the cream of them. It will be in the January number, which will be out
before Xmas.

I have also been trying to see my way--I SHOULD so like to go
to you--and if I can't yet awhile I hope you'll give me another

This week I certainly cannot--thank you, dear! And I _don't_ see my
way in December at all. I will _post-card_ you in a day or two again.

I am yours always lovingly,

My garden is great joy to me. Even you, I think, would allow me a
moderate amount of "grubbing" in between brain work.


Thursday (December 1883).


You are too profusely good to me. Have you really _given me_ Quarles?
I have never even seen his _School of the Heart_, and am charmed with
it. The Hieroglyphics of the life of Man were in the very old copy of
_Emblems_ belonging to my Mother which I have known all my life.

Thank you a thousand times.

I write for a seemingly ungracious purpose, but I know you will
comprehend my infirmities! I am not at all well. I had hoped to be
better by the time your young ladies came--but luck (and I fear a
little chill in the garden!) have been against me. I tried to get
_Macbeth_ deferred but it could not be--and I think my only hope of
enduring a long drive, and appearing as Lady Macbeth on Saturday
evening with any approach to "undaunted mettle"--is to shut myself up
in absolute silence and rest for several hours before we start. This,
alas! means that it would be better for your young ladies (what is
left of them, after brain fag and fish dinners!) to return to you by
an earlier train, as I could be "no account" to them on Saturday

       *       *       *       *       *

_I'll take care_ of _the poor students_ though I _am_ not at my best!
Their fish is ordered. We will spend a soothing evening on sofas and
easy chairs--and go early to bed! They shall have breakfast in bed if
they like. This does not sound amusing but I think it will be
wholesome for their relics!

Again thanking you for the dear little book--which comes in so nicely
for Advent!



The Queers' letters are VERY nice. Thank them with my love.

       *       *       *       *       *

Forgive pencil, dear--I'm in bed. Got rid of my throat--and now all my
"body and bones" seem to have given way, I thought it was lumbago or
sciatica--but Rex said--"Simply nerve exhaustion from over-writing"--so
I took to bed (for I couldn't walk!), high living and quinine! I hope
I'll soon be round again. The vile body is a nuisance. I've got a story
in my head--and that seems to take the vital force out of my legs!!!

Apropos to Richard's _Churchwarden's_ conscience, does he remember the
(possibly churchwarden!) "soul long hovering in fear and doubt"--in À
Kempis, who prostrated himself in prayer and groaned--"Oh if I only
_knew that I should persevere_!" To whom came the answer of God--"If
thou _didst_ know it, what wouldst thou do then? Continue to _do that_
and thou shalt be safe."

His letter and yours were _very_ comforting. I was just feeling very
low about my writing. I always do when I have to re-read for new
editions! It does seem such twaddle--and so unlike what I want to say!

Thank you greatly for believing in me!

       *       *       *       *       *

Your loving, J.H.E.


_Villa Ponente, Taunton._
Jan. 18, 1884.


In this Green Winter (and _you_ know how I love a Green Winter!) you
and all your kindness comes back so often to my mind. "Grenoside" is a
closed leaf in my life as well as in yours, but it is one that I shall
never forget so long as I can remember any of the things that have
mitigated the pains of life for me, or added to its pleasures!--The
bits of Green Winter I enjoyed with you did both--I hardly know which
the most! For the pleasure was very great, and the benefit
immeasurable--though now a fair amount of strength and "all my
faculties" have come back to me, I feel what a very tedious companion
I must have been when _vegetating_ was all I was fit for, and I did
such delightful vegetating between your sofa--and Greno Wood.

I want to tell you that I have some bits of you in what does the work
of Greno Wood for me here--namely, my little patch of garden, looking
out upon, what I call _my_ big fields. For some time I feared the said
bits were not going to live, but they have now, I really think, got
grip of the ground. They are those offshoots of your American Bramble
which you gave to me. And, ere long, I hope to sow a little paper of
your poppy seed, and--if two years' keeping has not destroyed its
vitality--I may, perchance, send you some of your own poppies to deck
your London rooms. You cannot think--or rather I have no doubt that
you can!--the refreshment my bit of garden is to me. It has become so
dear, that (like an ugly face one loves and ceases to see plain!)--I
find it so charming that it is _with a start_ that I recognize that
new friends see no beauty in--


This four-square patch!!

But A and B are "beds," and there are borders under the brick walls,
and a rose-growing admirer of "Laetus" made a pilgrimage to see
me!--and brought me nineteen grand climbing roses--and wall S faces
_nearly quite_ south, and on it grow Maréchal Niel, and Cloth of Gold,
and Charles Lefebvre, and Triomphe de Rennes, and a Banksia and
Souvenir de la Malmaison, and Cheshunt Hybrid, and a bit of the old
Ecclesfield summer white rose--sent by Undine--and some Passion
Flowers from dear old Miss Child in Derbyshire--and a _Wistaria_ which
the old lady of _the lodgings_ we were in when we first came, tore up,
and gave to me, with various other _oddments_ from her garden!
and--the American Bramble! And also, by the bye, a very lovely rose,
"Fortune's Yellow,"--given to me by a friend in Hampshire.

Major Ewing declares my borders are "so full _there is no room for
more_" which is very nasty of him!--but I have been very lucky in
preserving, and even multiplying, the various contributions my bare
patch has been blessed with! D. sent me a _barrel_ of bits last autumn
from the Vicarage, and Reginald sent me an excellent hamper from
Bradfield, and Col. Yeatman sent me a hamper from Wiltshire, and
several friends here have given me odds and ends, and our old friend
Miss Sulivan, before she went abroad, sent me a farewell memorial of
sweet things--Lavender, Rosemary, Cabbage Rose, Moss Rose, and
Jessamine!!!--Oh! talking of sweet things, I must tell you--I went
into the market here one day this last autumn, and of a man standing
there--I bought a dug-up clump of BAY _tree_--for 2/6.

You know how you indulged my senses with bay leaves when I was far
from them? Well, I put my clump and myself into a cab and went
home--where I pulled my clump to pieces and made eight nice plants of
him--and set me a bay hedge, which has thriven so far very well!!! But
then--'tis a Green Winter!

Now I want to know if there is a chance of tempting you down here for
a little visit? I have thought that perhaps some time in the Spring
the School might be taking holiday, and Harry might be striding off on
a week or 10 days' country "breathe,"--and perhaps you would come to
me? Or if he were inclined for fresh fields and pastures new, that you
would come together, and he might make his head-quarters here, and go
over to Glastonbury, etc., etc., etc., whilst we took matters more
quietly at home?

I feel it is a long way to come, but it would be so very pleasant to
me to welcome you under my own roof!

If you cannot get away in Spring, I _must_ persuade you when London
gets hotter and less pleasant!

You _must_ miss your country home--and yet I envy you a few things!
London has cords of charm to attract in many ways! I wish I could _fly
over_, and see the Sir Joshuas and one or two things.

(I am stubbornly indifferent to the _Spectator's_ dictum that we like
"Sir Joshuas" because we are a nation of snobs!!!)

Ever affectionately yours,

Do tell me what hope there is of seeing you--and showing you your own
bramble on my own wall!


March 11, 1884.


I do not think you will ever let me have my Head Gardener here again!

I CAN'T take care of him!

I really could have sat down on the door-step and cried--when our old
cabby--"the family coachman" as we call him, arrived and had missed
Mr. Going. How _he_ did not miss his train, I cannot conceive! He must
have run--he must have flown--he _must_ be a bit uncanny--and the
flap-ends of the comforter must have spread into wings--or our clocks
must have been beforehand--or the trains were behindhand--

Obviously luck favours him!!

But where was his great-coat?--

He got very damp--and there was no time to hang him out to dry!

Tell him with my love--I have been nailing up the children in the way
they should go--and have made a real hedge of cuttings!

I wish the Weeding Woman could see my old Yorkshire "rack." It and its
china always lend themselves to flowers, I think. The old English
coffee-cups are full of primroses. In a madder-crimson Valery pot are
Lent lilies--and the same in a peacock-blue fellow of a pinched and
selfish shape. The white violets are in a pale grey-green jar (a
miniature household jar) of Marseilles pottery. The polyanthuses
singularly become a pet _Jap_ pot of mine of pale yellow with white
and black design on it--and a gold dragon--and a turquoise-coloured
lower rim.

I am VERY flowery. I must catch the post. I do hope my Head
Gardener is not in bed with rheumatic fever!!!! I trust your poor back
is rather easier?

Please most gratefully thank the girls for me.

Yours gratefully and affectionately,


All Fools, 1884.


You are too good, and--as to the confusion of one's principles is
sometimes the case--your virtues encourage my vices. You make me
greedy when I ought only to be grateful.

I've been too busy to write at once, and also somewhat of set purpose
abstained--for those bitter winds and hard-caked soil were not suited
for transplantation, and still less fit for you to be playing the part
of Honest Root-gatherer without your Cardigan Waistcoat!!!!


     "a balmy south wind blows."

I feel convinced some poet says so. If not I do, and it's a fact.

Moreover by a superhuman--or anyhow a super-frail-feminine--effort
last Saturday as ever was I took up all that remained of the cabbage
garden--spread the heap of ashes, marked out another path by rule of
line (not of thumb, as I planted those things you took up and _set
straight_!), made my new walk, and edged it with the broken tiles that
came off our roof when "the stormy winds did blow"--an economy which
pleased me much. Thus I am now entirely flower-garden--and with room
for more flowers!!

Now to your kind offer. I think it will take rather more than 50
bunches of primroses to complete the bank according to your
plan--though not 100. Say 70: but if there are a few bunches to spare
I shall put them down that border where the laurels are, against the
wall under the ivy. They flower there, and other things don't.

Now about the wild daffodils--indeed I _would_ like some!!! I fear I
should like enough to do this: [_Sketch._]

These be the Poets' narcissus along the edge of the grass above the
strawberry bank, and I don't deny I think it would be nice to have a
row of wild Daffys (where the red marks are) to precede the same
narcissus next spring if we're spared! The Daffys to be planted _in
the grass_ of the grass-plat.

I doubt if less than two dozen clumps would 'do it handsome'!!!!!!!!

Now I want your good counsel. This is my back garden: [_Sketch._]

Next to Slugs and Snails (to which I have recently added a specimen

     Puppy Dog's  Tails--

my worst enemy is--WIND!

The laurels are growing--for that matter, Xmas is coming!--but still
we are very shelterless. I think I would like to plant in Bed A,
_inter alia_--some shrubby things. Now I know your views about moving
shrubs are somewhat wider than those of the every-day gardener's--but
do you think I dare plant a bush of lauristinus now? It would have to
travel a little way, I fancy. There is no man actually in Taunton, I
fear, with good shrubs. I mean also to get some Japanese maples. I
think I would like a copper-coloured-leaved _nut tree_. Are nuts
hardy? I fear Gum Cistus is coming into flower--and unfit to move! How
about rhododendrons? The soil here is said to suit them wonderfully. I
could not pretend to buy peat for them--but I know hardy sorts will do
in a firm fair soil, and I should like to plant a lilac one--a
crimson--a blush--and a white. I think they would do fairly and
shelter small fry.

_Can I risk it now?_ and how about hardy azaleas--things I love! If
you say--we are too near summer sun for them to get established--I
must wait till Autumn.

How has Mrs. Going stood the biting winds? Very unfavourable for one's
aches and pains?

Tell her I have got one of those rather queer yellow flowers you
condescended to notice!--to bring to her after Easter.

Is it not terrible about Prince Leopold? That poor young wife--and the
Queen! What bitter sorrow she has known; also I do regard the loss as
a great one for the country, he was so enlightened and so desirous of
use in his generation.

Yours, J.H.E.



Thank you, dear, with much love for your Easter card. It is
LOVELY (and Easter cards are not very beautiful as a rule).
It is on a little stand on my knick-knack table--and looks so well!

I send you a few bits from my garden as an Easter Greeting. They are
not much--but we are in a "nip" of bitter N.E. winds--and nothing will
"come out."

Also I rather denuded my patch to send a large box to Undine to make
the Easter wreaths for my Mother's grave. I was really rather proud of
what I managed to scrape together--every bit out of my very own
patch--and consequently of my very own planting!

I've got neuralgia to-day with the wind and a fourteen-miles drive for
luncheon and two sets of callers since I got back!--so I can't write a
letter--but I want you to tell me when you think there's a chance of
your taking a run to see me! I seem to have such lots to say! I have
found another charm (besides red pots) of our market. If one goes
_very early_ on Saturday--one gets such nice old-fashioned flowers,
"roots," and big ones too--very cheap! It's a most fascinating
_ruination by penny-worths_!

Good luck to you, dear, in your fresh settling down in the Heimath

Mrs. M---- (where we were _lunching_) asked tenderly after my large
young family--as strangers usually do. Then she said, "But you write
so sympathetically of children, and 'A Soldier's Children' is so
real--I thought they MUST be yours." On which I explained the
Dear Queers to her. To whom be love! and to Richard.

Ever, dear, yours lovingly,


Midsummer Day, 1884.


Not a moment till now have I found--to tell you I got home safe and
sound, and that your delicious cream was duly and truly appreciated!

The last of it was merged in an admirable Gooseberry Fool!

The roses suffered by the hot journey--but even the least flourishing
of them received great admiration--from their size--as the skeletons
of saurians make a smaller world stand aghast!!!

This last sentence smacks of Jules Verne! I don't care much for
him--after all. It is rather _bookmaking_.

But I have had a lot of hearty laughs over "the Heroine"! It is very
funny--if not _very_ refined. Some of the situations admirable. There
is something in the girl's calling her father "Wilkinson" all the way
through--quite as comic as anything in _Vice Versâ_--a book which I
never managed to get to the end of.

I hope your wedding went well to-day. My sister's--is postponed till
the 28th--for the convenience of the best man. If _by Thursday_ (you
must be a full two days' post from a Yorkshire country place) the
Master had _one or two_ Bouquet D'Or or other white or yellow roses
not very fully blown--and your handy Meta would wind wet rags about
their stalks and put them in an empty coffee-tin and despatch them by
parcels post to Miss Gatty, Ecclesfield Vicarage, Sheffield, Yorks,
they would be greatly welcomed to eke out the white decorations of my
Mother's grave for the wedding-day. I am wildly watering my Paris
Daisies--and hope to get some wild Ox-eye daisies also--as her name
was Margaret (and her pet name Meta!). I am applying prayers and
slopwater in equal proportions--like any Kelt!--to my Bouquet D'Or and
other white and yellow roses! I shall have some double white
Canterbury Bells, etc.--but there is coming a _lull_ in the flowers,
and they won't re-bloom much till we have rain.

Please give my love to all your party, not forgetting the house dove
and the dog--

I reproach my Rufus with his tricks and talents!

I have had great benefit in a fit of neuralgia from your chili paste.

Yours, dear Mrs. Going,
Sincerely and affectionately,


November 3, 1884.


Enclosed is "Daddy Darwin"--for Richard!--and two of the Verse Books
for the two dear Queers I had so many luncheons with!

You know I risked printing 20,000 D.D.D. on my own book to cheapen
printing--so you'll be glad to hear that after ordering 10,000 at the
beginning of last week--S.P.C.K. have ordered another 10,000 at the
end of it!! But I've been having _such_ "times" with the printers' and
publishers' dæmons!!

I must not write, however, for I have been ill also!! A throat attack.
We were afraid of diphtheria--but if it were that I should not be
writing to you as you'll guess. There has been another outbreak of it
just round us, and a good many throats of sorts in its train, but Dr.
L---- does not seem to think mine due to much more than
exhaustion--and he seemed to think nursing the dog had not been very
good for me. He says distemper is typhoid fever!

We had a very jolly little visit from Colonel C----. He was at his
_very_ funniest. Mimicked us both to our faces till we yelled again!
As Rex said--"Not a bit altered! The old man! _Would any other play
the bones about his bedroom in his night-shirt?_"

He went off waving farewells and shouting--"We'll _both_ come next
time--and rouse ye well."

Your loving, J.H.E.



You have indeed the sympathy of my whole heart!

God bless and prosper "Old Father" on the war-path and bring him home
to his Queers and to you full of honour and glory and interesting

I know Mr. Anstruther--he is charming. I cannot say how I think it
softens one's fears if Richard's strength were still a bit unequal to
the strain--to know that he has such a subaltern--adjutant--and C.R.E.
He could not have gone arm-in-arm with better comrades--unless the
Giant had been ready as sick-nurse in case of need!

But I do feel for you, dear--you are very gallant.

I am not fit to write yet--my head _goes_ so--but I will write you
next week about Gordon Browne (a thousand thanks!) and see if _I_
possibly could. Thank you so much.

The drummer's letter is charming. I must copy the bit about tip-toe
for Sir Evelyn Wood! I got the enclosed from him--also from Wady
Halfa--and I wanted you and R---- to hear the weird drum-band drunkard
tale! and see how he likes "Soldier's Children."

Can you kindly return it, dear?

Your most loving, J.H.E.

[_In pencil._]

Where does R---- sail from?

I see by to-day's _Times_ the others have sailed from Dartmouth. My
dear Marny--can't you and R---- come here _en route_ if only for a
night? It _would_ be so nice! It would be such a pleasure to Rex and
me to Godspeed him--and he would feel _quite like Gladstone_ if he had
an ovation at every stopping point on the Flying Dutchman!


November 18, 1884.


I wish you _could_ have paused here--I wish that you were even likely
to run through Taunton station in the Flying Dutchman, and that we
could have run down to head a cheer for you!--But Gravesend is handier
for Marny.

She's a real Briton--and it is that "undaunted mettle" that does
"compose" the sinews of "peace with honour" for a country as well as

Indeed I'm glad you have your chance--or make a very respectable
assumption of that _virtus_! and I take leave to be doubly glad that
it is in a fine climate and with good shoulder to shoulder comrades.

Tell Marny, Colonel Y. B---- in a letter about "Daddy Darwin" is very
sympathetic. Another "old standard"--Jelf, he says--is going, and
"Mrs. J---- puts a good face on it."

What will the theatricals and the Institute do?--

"Do without," I suppose! I am a lot better the last two days--and
struggled off to the town to-day to a missionary meeting! It was a
most unusually interesting one about the South American Missions. I
must tell Marny about it.--However--at some tea afterwards, I was
"interviewed" by one or two people--and one lady asked to introduce a
"Major"--whose name I did not catch--as being so devoted to "Soldier's
Children." I created quite a sensation by saying that "Old Father" was
ordered to Bechuanaland--"Oh, how old are the Queers? Are they really
losing Old Father again so soon?"

I feel, by the bye, that it is part of that fatality which besets you
and me, that I should have stereotyped you in printers' ink as _Old_

Good-bye.--Godspeed and Good luck to you.

Your affectionate old friend,


December 3, 1884.


I think there is a blessing on all your benevolences to me which
defies ill luck!

After I wrote to Mrs. Going we'd a frost of ten degrees--and I got
neuralgia back--and made a dismal picture in my own mind of your good
things coming to an iron-bound border--and an Under Gardener deeply
_died down_ under eider down and blankets--(even my old labourer being
laid up with sore throat and scroomaticks!--but lo and behold, on
Monday the air became like new milk--I became like a new Under
Gardener--and leave was given to go out. (I am bound to confess that I
don't think rose-planting was medically contemplated!) Fortunately the
border was ready and well-manured--I only had to dig holes in very
soft stuff--but I am very weak, and my stamping powers are never on at
all a Nasmyth Hammer sort of scale--but--good luck again!--Major
Ewing's orderly arrived with papers to sign--a magnificent individual
over six foot--with larger boots than mine and a coal-black
melodramatic moustache! Had the Major been present--I should not have
dared to ask an orderly in full dress and on duty to defile his boots
among Zomerset red-earth, but as I caught him alone I begged his
assistance. He looked down very superbly upon me (swathed in fur and
woollen shawls, and staggering under a full-sized garden fork) with a
twinkle in his eye that prepared me for the least taste of brogue
which kept breaking through his studied fine language--and consented
most affably. I wish you'd seen him--balancing his figure with a
consciousness of maids at the kitchen window, his cane held out,
_toeing_ and _heeling_ your roses into their places!! He assured me he
understood all about it, and he trode them in very nicely!

How good of you to have sent me such a stock,--and the pansies I
wanted. The flower of that lovely mauve and purple one is on the table
by me now. _One_ (only one) of your other roses died--the second
Gloire near the front door--so when I saw it was hopeless I had that
border "picked" up--a very rockery of rubbish came out--good stuff was
put in, and one of the Souvenirs de Malmaison is now comfortably
established there I hope. This wet weather keeps me a prisoner
now--but it is good luck for the roses to settle in. I have had some
nice scraps and remains of flowers to cheer me indoors--there are one
or two late rosebuds yet!

They are such a pleasure to me--and I am indeed grateful to you for
all you have done for my garden! Some of those roses I bought have
thrown up hugely long shoots. They were all small plants as you
know--so I cut none of them in the autumn. I suppose in the spring I
had better cut off these long shoots from the bushes in the open
border away from the hedge?

I must not write more--only my thanks afresh. With our best regards.

I am very gratefully yours,

[_Written with a typewriter._]


_Taunton._ December 23, 1884.


My right arm is disabled with neuralgia, and Rex is working one of his
most delightful toys for me. He says I brought my afflictions on
myself by writing too prolix letters several hours a day. I've got
very much behindhand, or you'd have heard from me before. I must try
and be highly condensed. Gordon Browne has done some wonderful
drawings for "Lætus." Rex was wild over a "Death or Glory" Lancer, and
I think he (the Lancer) and a Highlander would touch even Aunty's
heart. They will rank among her largest exceptions. I can't do _any_
Xmas cards this year; I can neither go out nor write. I hoped to have
sent you a little Xmas box, of a pair of old brass candlesticks such
as your soul desireth. D. and I made an expedition to the very
broker's ten days ago, but when I saw the dingy shop choke-full of
newly-arrived dirty furniture, and remembered that these streets are
reeking with small-pox--as it refuses to "leave us at present"--I
thought I should be foolish to go in. D. knows of a pair in
Ecclesfield, and I have commissioned her to annex them if possible;
but they can't quite arrive in time. In case I don't manage to write
Xmas greetings to Aunty and Madre, give them my dear love; and the
same to yourself and the Queers. I am proud to tell you that I have
persuaded my Admiral to put the Soldiers' Institute on his collecting
book of Army and Navy Charities; and when I started it with a small
subscription he immediately added the same.

Dear Xmas wishes to you all, and a Happy New Year to Richard also from
us both.

Your loving, J.H.E.

[_In typewriting._]


_Taunton._ January 4, 1885.


I should indeed not have been silent at this season if I had not been
ill, and I should have got Rex to print me a note before now, but I
kept hoping to be able to write myself, and I rather thought that you
would hear that I was laid up, either from D. or M. I have not been
very well for some time more than yourself, and I am afraid the root
of this breakdown has been overwork. But the weather has been very
sunless and wretched, and I have had a fortnight in bed with bad,
periodic neuralgia, which has particularly disabled my right arm and
head--two important matters in letter-writing. It put an entire stop
to my Christmas greetings. I made a little effort for the nephews one
day, and had a terrible night afterwards. The lovely blue (china) Dog,
who reminds me of an old but incomprehensible Yorkshire saying, "to
blush like a blue dog in a dark entry,"--which is what _I_ do when I
think that I have not yet said "thank you" for him--is most
delightful. You know how I love a bit of colour, and a quaint shape.
He arrived with one foot off, but I can easily stick it on. Thank you
so much. I must not say more to-day, except to hope you'll feel a
little stronger when we see more of the sun; and, thanking you and
Francie for your cards--(I was greatly delighted to see my friends the
queer fungi again)--and with love to your Mother--who I hope is
getting fairly through the winter.

Yours gratefully and affectionately,


January 22, 1885.


I am _so_ pleased you like the brazen candlesticks.

I have long wanted to tell you how _lovely_ I thought all your Xmas
cards. Auntie's snow scene was exquisite--and your Angels have adorned
my sick-room for nearly a month! Most beautiful.

I know you'll be glad I had my first "decent" night last night--since
December 18!--No very lengthy vigils and no pain to _speak_ of. No
pain to growl about to-day. A great advance.

Indeed, dear--I should not only be glad but _grateful_ to go to you by
and by for a short _fillip_. Dr. L---- would have sent me away now if
weather, etc. were fit--or I could move.

After desperate struggles--made very hard by illness--I hope to see
"Lætus" in May at _one shilling_. Gordon Browne doing well. Do you
object to the ending of "Lætus"--to Lady Jane having another son,
etc.? Do the Farrants? My dear love to them. This bitter--sunless,
lifeless weather must have tried Kitty very much.

       *       *       *       *       *

Your loving,

[_In typewriting._]

_Taunton._ February 16, 1885.


Rex is "typing" for me, but my own mouth must thank you for your
goodness, for being so ready to take me in. By and by I shall indeed
be grateful to go to you. But this is not likely to be for some weeks
to come. You can't imagine what a Greenwich pensioner I am. I told my
doctor this morning that he'd better send me up a wood square with
four wheels, like those beggars in London who have no limbs; for both
my legs and my right arm were _hors de combat_, and to-day he has
found an inflamed vein in my left, so _that_ has gone into
fomentations too.

But in spite of all this I feel better, and do hope I shall soon be up
and about. But he says the risk of these veins would be likely to come
if I over-exerted myself, so--anxious as I am to get to purer air, I
don't think it would do to move until my legs are more fit. May I
write again and tell you when I am fit for Aldershot? Dr. L---- highly
approves of the air of it, but at present he thinks lying in bed the
only safe course. Do thank dear Aunty next time you write to her for
her goodness, and tell her that in my present state I should make her
seem quite spry and active. A thousand thanks for the _Pall Mall_. I
do _not_ neglect one word of what you say; but I need hardly say that
I can't work at present.

The illustrations for "Lætus" are going on very well. I hope to send
Richard a copy for perusal on the homeward voyage.

I daren't write about Gordon. Certainly not the least strange part of
his wondrous career is this mystery which persists in clouding his
close. I feel as if he would be like Enoch or Moses--that we shall never
be permitted to know more than that--having walked with GOD--he "was
not--for GOD took him," and that his sepulchre no man shall know.

Your loving,

_The present Series of Mrs. Ewing's Works is the only authorized,
complete, and uniform Edition published._

_It will consist of 18 volumes, Small Crown 8vo, at 2s. 6d. per vol.,
issued, as far as possible, in chronological order, and these will
appear at the rate of two volumes every two months, so that the Series
will be completed within 18 months. The device of the cover was
specially designed by a Friend of Mrs. Ewing._

_The following is a list of the books included in the Series_--

















17. MISCELLANEA, including The Mystery of the Bloody Hand--Wonder
Stones--Tales of the Khoja, and other translations.

18. JULIANA HORATIA EWING AND HER BOOKS, with a selection from Mrs.
Ewing's Letters.


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